Whistleblower fights disciplinary findings

One of the whistleblowers behind the Garda penalty points controversy has brought a High Court challenge to findings that he breached disciplinary regulations arising from his attendance, while off-duty, at court proceedings in Cavan.

Whistleblower fights disciplinary findings

John Wilson, with an address in Cavan town, wants orders quashing decisions of May 2012 that he acted in breach of Garda discipline by refusing to answer why he was in attendance at the Cavan court proceedings.

Mr Wilson, who retired from the force earlier this year having joined it in 1982, is challenging findings that he, in neglect of duty, failed to promptly reply to the divisional officer of the Cavan/Monaghan division concerning correspondence dated Jan 31, 2012, and Mar 6, 2012.

In the Jan 31 correspondence, an explanation was sought from Mr Wilson as to why, when he was not on duty and not in uniform, he was at Cavan courthouse in the presence of Walter and Genevieve Smith, who were co-defendants in a case being heard.

The Mar 6 correspondence also sought Mr Wilson comply with the directions dated Jan 31, 2012.

In submissions on behalf of Mr Wilson yesterday, Mark Harty argued his client was entitled not to answer the questions put to him. The finding this amounted to a breach of discipline was made in excess of the relevant Garda regulations, he argued.

Opposing the application, Eileen Barrington, for the Garda respondents and the State, argued that failure to carry out a lawful order amounted to a neglect of duty. There was no basis for the claim the findings were in excess of the relevant Garda regulations, she submitted.

Having heard from the sides, Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley said she was reserving her judgment.

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