Friday 30 September 2016

No charges over Clare Daly arrest leak as information came from gardai 'on the balance of probability'

Robin Schiller

Published 18/05/2016 | 18:46

The incident was reported in various media outlets in the immediate aftermath of Clare Daly being arrested
The incident was reported in various media outlets in the immediate aftermath of Clare Daly being arrested

The Garda watchdog investigating media leaks over the arrest of Clare Daly has ruled that there is “insufficient evidence of a criminal offence” to warrant a file being sent to the DPP.

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GSOC investigated the unlawful disclosure of information relating to Deputy Daly’s arrest in January 2013 on the suspicion of drink driving.

The incident was reported in various media outlets in the immediate aftermath of Clare Daly being arrested.

The investigation stemmed from a complaint made by the TD, concerning the alleged unlawful disclosure of information to the press, both about the fact of her arrest and about whom she requested to be called at the time.

However, despite the fact that no charges will be brought in relation to the leak, the watchdog stated that “on the balance of probability” the information of her arrest came from within An Garda Siochana.

“At the conclusion of the investigation, the Ombudsman Commission considered that there was insufficient evidence of a criminal offence by any individual to warrant sending a file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions,” a spokesperson for GSOC said.

 “However, while it is not possible to state that this information was released by a particular Garda or any other identifiable person, there does appear to be sufficient evidence to state, on the balance of probabilities, that some of the detail relating to Deputy Daly’s arrest emanated from within the Garda Síochána organisation and were made available to members of the media in an unauthorised manner.

“The Ombudsman Commission is of the view that Deputy Daly was entitled to the presumption of innocence and that she had a right to privacy. These rights appear to have been infringed by the release of such information,” the spokesperson added.

Deputy Daly was cleared of any wrongdoing and no charges were ever brought against her in relation to the arrest, which occurred  on 29 January 2013.

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