Soldiers bid to stop 'drinking' court martials
TWO soldiers accused of intoxication and insubordination while serving overseas have brought a High Court challenge aimed at stopping their court martials.
The challenge has been brought by Corporals Kevin Delaney and Cathal O'Reilly who, the court heard, acted out of character while serving with the KFOR force in Pristina, Kosovo, after their drinks were spiked.
Yesterday, Martin Giblin, counsel for the soldiers, said both had a memory blackout after they were each given a complimentary drink at a bar operated by US armed forces on February 6, 2010.
Both, who are stationed at Cathal Brugha Barracks Dublin, claim a drink, which contained a red substance, was given to them at 'The American Bar' at KFOR's main headquarters.
They are now facing charges including intoxication while on active service, using insulting language and threatening violence to a superior officers.
Mr Giblin said that afterwards his clients were subject to disciplinary sanctions and essentially confined to barracks.
The Military Police were asked by the corporals to investigate their complaints about the drinks.
However, this was refused and this amounted to a denial of fair procedures and a denial of their rights under Military Law, counsel said.
In their proceedings against the director of Military Prosecutions, the Minister for Defence, Ireland and the Attorney General the corporals want the High Court to prohibit their court martials.
Leave to bring the challenges was granted yesterday, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Michael Peart.
The judge, who also granted a stay on the court martials pending the outcome of the High Court action, adjourned the matter to November.