Garda secures injunction preventing commissioner from ending his career

High Court heard Garda Shane Kilcoyne was told last month that due to his failure to pass a physical fitness test, his services were being dispensed with from August 9 next
Garda secures injunction preventing commissioner from ending his career

The court made the order in favour of Shane Kilcoyne, who entered the Garda Training College, Templemore, in 2016, and began a BA degree course in applied policing. File picture

A garda has secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing the Garda Commissioner from dispensing with his services.

The court made the order in favour of Shane Kilcoyne, who entered the Garda Training College, Templemore, in 2016, and began a BA degree course in applied policing.

The court heard Gda Kilcoyne was told last month that due to his failure to pass a physical fitness test, known as a beep test, which is a part of his degree course, his services were being dispensed with from August 9 next.

Gda Kilcoyne, who is currently out on leave arising out of injuries he sustained when performing his duties, failed to pass the beep test on six occasions between January 2018 and March 2019.

Represented by Cormac Ó Dúlacháin SC, John Temple Bl, instructed by Prospect Law solicitors, Gda Kilcoyne claims that arising out of his failure to pass the beep test, he was informed he could not proceed with his degree course in applied policing.

However, he continued to serve as a probationary garda, and was stationed at the Bridewell Garda Station in central Dublin.

During that time, he claims he was also advised that his failure to complete the academic programme could result in the Garda Commissioner dispensing with his services.

Period of probation extended on six occasions

Between 2019 and 2021, his period of probation was extended on six occasions; the court was told.

He claims that during this time, he understood the ongoing review he received from his superiors at the Bridewell, and his performance on duty would count in his any assessment of his competence to serve as a member of An Garda Síochána.

He made submissions to the commissioner as to why he should be kept on as a member despite his failure to complete the degree course.

He said he was taken aback when informed by the commissioner in July that his services were to be dispensed with.

His removal, it was claimed, would have a significant detrimental effect on him, including on his family and on his community in his native Co Mayo.

He claims it was "manifestly unfair" for the commissioner to continue to extend his period of probation, only to use an early failing as a ground to dispense with his services.

He had expected that his faithful service as a garda, who his counsel said needed two operations on the injuries he received while on duty, would be a material consideration in evaluating his competence to serve as a garda.

Temporary, ex parte, injunction

Late on Tuesday evening, lawyers for Gda Kilcoyne secured a temporary, ex parte, injunction from Mr Justice Michael Quinn preventing the commissioner from ending the applicant's career as a garda later this month.

The judge also granted Gda Kilcoyne permission to bring judicial review proceedings where he seeks an order quashing the commissioner's decision to dispense with the applicant's service.

He also seeks various declarations including that the commissioner's decision is null and void, and that Gda Kilcoyne had a legitimate expectation that his services would not be dispensed with.

Mr Justice Quinn said that based on Mr Ó Dúlacháin's submissions, he was satisfied to grant leave and the interim injunction sought. The judge made the action returnable to a date later this month.

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