independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Garda seeking a new legal challenge to his suspension from duty

A GARDA who won a Supreme Court appeal over his dismissal is seeking to bring a new legal challenge to his suspension from duty last month.

Garda John Kelly who is stationed at Drumshambo , Co Leitrim, had served 27 years in the force before his dismissal in August 2011.

A garda board of inquiry later upheld a number of allegations of misconduct against him, including falsehood in statements provided by him relating to the investigation of alleged breaches of the licensing laws in a Drumshambo pub two years earlier.

Last November, a three-judge Supreme Court granted his appeal against the High Court's rejection of his challenge to his dismissal.

The court ruled the board failed to give reasons for recommending his dismissal and directed the board must give him those reasons before his fresh appeal against the recommended dismissal, to be conducted in line with the court's findings.

After winning in the Supreme Court he returned to duty.

In December, a report of the board of inquiry again recommended his dismissal and on January 7 last he was notified of his suspension by the Garda Commissioner.

Today, he asked the High Court for permission to challenge to that suspension.

Mr Justice Michael Peart said he would give his decision tomorrow on whether he can bring the judicial review proceedings.

Garda Kelly had been suspended from his duties until the start of this month, but on January 24 last, the period of suspension was extended until next May.

In his proceedings, Garda Kelly of Strandhill, Co Sligo is  seeking an order quashing the January decision of the Commissioner to suspend him.

He claims the Commissioner, in making a decision, failed to consider the wider issues identified by the Supreme Court.

He  claims it was disproportionate to suspend him in circumstances where an investigation of those wider issues has not begun.

He is also seeking an order quashing the Commissioner's refusal last month to give him copies of all correspondence between his (Commissioner's) office and the board of inquiry.

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