independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Man fights garda vetting procedures

A MAN has brought a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the garda vetting procedure.

Trevor Webster claims he failed to get a job as a firefighter because a vetting report included details of minor offences he was charged with but never convicted of.

In 2009, Mr Webster applied to Kilkenny County Council for the position of permanent firefighter at Urlingford. Following an interview he was ranked first of all the applicants.

However, after a garda report revealed five 'non convictions', he was refused the job. The council justified its decision, he claims, by saying that it could not trust him.

He said the charges – which included alleged criminal damage, road traffic matters and theft – were all struck out without evidence being heard.

He said the allegations were made by people in dispute with his father over land ownership.

In High Court proceedings against the Garda Commissioner, Ireland and the Attorney General, Mr Webster from the Island, Urlingford, claims the disclosure of non-convictions to third parties is in violation of his constitutional rights. Passing the information denied him his right to a good name.

At the High Court, Peter Ward, for the State, said that Mr Webster lacks the legal standing to bring his action and it should be struck out.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy reserved judgment.

Irish Independent

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