Garda challenges ‘malicious’ discipline

Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison has brought a High Court challenge aimed at stopping internal disciplinary proceedings against him.

It is alleged he verbally and physically abused and harassed his partner, and allegedly accessed details of her car 25 times on the Garda Pulse system.

Garda Harrison claims there is no bona fide basis for the disciplinary inquiry and he was previously accused of deceitfully hiding his relationship with the woman, whose brother was involved in a traffic accident leading to a garda’s death.

Garda Harrison claims he has been subject to bullying and harassment in his work, and that GSOC are investigating complaints by him he and his partner were subject to surveillance and harassment. In his proceedings against the Garda commissioner, Garda Harrison, who is stationed in Co Donegal, is seeking various orders including one prohibiting an investigation into allegations he breached Garda Disciplinary Regulations.

Garda Harrison also seeks declarations that the appointment of a garda to investigate the allegations on December 1 was unlawful, unconstitutional, and contrary to natural and constitutional justice.

Permission to bring the action was granted, on an ex parte basis by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

The judge, who put a stay on the disciplinary process from proceeding pending the outcome of the action, adjourned the case to late January.

Yesterday, Mark Harty, counsel for Garda Harrison, said his client denied all the allegations against him. The decision to investigate Garda Harrison is “malicious,” “oppressive” and should be stopped, counsel said.

He said, when working in Athlone, Garda Harrison arrested another garda. Garda Harrison’s actions were questioned by his superiors and he was encouraged to cease the prosecution, which he saw through.

He was later subjected to an unprecedented managerial review and scrutiny, it is claimed. He ended up with 16 allegations of breaches of discipline against him and was found in breach of four of them.

Around this time, he rekindled a relationship with a woman and transferred to Buncrana, Co Donegal.

Garda Harrison says that when the relationship was discovered by other gardaí, he was told by a superior he been underhand and deceitful and showed little or no respect for his colleagues. He was then transferred to Donegal Town.

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