Since mid-September, Inspector Brian Goulding has been prevented from prosecuting at court sittings in Co Cork presided over Judge Michael Pattwell.
The judge held the inspector in contempt during a sitting of Midleton District Court.
Senior gardaí have, however, backed the inspector and sent a file to the DPP seeking a judicial review of the case in the High Court.
Gardaí want the contempt order overturned to allow Inspector Goulding to return to prosecuting duties in court.
In the meantime, two inspectors from Mallow and Fermoy have been drafted into the court area to handle cases normally presented by Insp Goulding.
Inspector Goulding, very experienced and highly-respected, has been involved in a number of high profile arrests during his 25 years’ service.
As a detective sergeant he arrested Wayne O’Donoghue, who was found guilty of the manslaughter of 11-year-old Robert Holohan in Midleton in 2006.
The following year he arrested Thomas Kennedy, from Cobh, Co Cork for the murder of former girlfriend Sheola Keaney.
In 2002, he arrested Tim Allen, the husband of celebrity chef Darina Allen, during Operation Amethyst — which was a nationwide crackdown on child pornography. Tim Allen was found to have around 1,000 computer images of children at his home. Judge Pattwell sentenced him to 240 hours’ community service and ordered him to contribute €40,000 to a children’s charity.
Judge Pattwell, who established his own legal practice in Clonakilty, also worked in the legal department of Cork County Council before being appointed a district court judge in 1990.
Born in west Cork, he presides over courts in Midleton, Cobh, Fermoy, Mitchelstown, Mallow and Kanturk.
Eight years ago, members of the Southern Law Society refused to appear at his courts after he found solicitor Marguerite Fennell in contempt of court. The law society boycotted the courts for two weeks.