A GARDA awaiting trial for possessing more than 650 images of child sexual abuse has lost a legal bid to remain anonymous.
Joe O'Connor (53), who is stationed at a Dublin city-centre garda station but is suspended, is accused of possession of 655 child abuse images at his west Dublin home between July 30 and August 2, 2011, charges he denies.
The charges relate to images and movie files of child explicit sex, child exposure and computer graphic images.
It is alleged he had 92 images of child explicit sex, 136 images of child exposure, 85 movies of child explicit sex, one movie file of child exposure and 341 other computer graphic images of child porn.
The long-serving member of the force, who is stationed in the Bridewell garda station, is facing trial by judge and jury.
At Blanchardstown District Court, Judge David McHugh lifted reporting restrictions on naming the garda following applications and legal argument by lawyers from Independent Newspapers and RTE.
The judge initially put a stay on the order pending a decision by the garda's solicitors to challenge his ruling in the High Court. However, Garda O'Connor's legal team decided not to challenge the judge's order.
Garda O'Connor's solicitor, Matthew Kenny, had asked the judge to retain an order of anonymity, saying that revealing the identity of the garda would put him in peril.
Mr Kenny also argued there was a real risk of an unfair trial if the garda, who is homosexual, was named.
But Judge McHugh lifted the reporting restrictions, saying he did not believe there was a real risk the garda would not receive a fair trial.
Garda O'Connor, of Clonee in west Dublin, was before Blanchardstown court charged with possession of child pornography at his home on dates between July 30 and August 2, 2011. The court previously heard the DPP directed summary disposal of the matter in the District Court on a guilty plea only. This means if Mr O'Connor denies the charge it will go forward for trial to the Circuit Court.
Mr Kenny said the garda denied the charge, and the matter will now go forward for trial.
Mr Kenny asked Judge McHugh to mark the matter peremptory for the book of evidence, saying the accused was very anxious for the case to proceed in a timely manner.
Garda O'Connor was previously granted free legal aid.
Judge McHugh adjourned the matter for four weeks for the service of the book of evidence.