Sunday 19 November 2017

Talks urged in court action over Garda refusal of gun licences

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

A LEGAL action involving three men who were refused gun licences by gardai has been put back for a week to facilitate talks between both sides.

The High Court case had already been postponed last Friday after one of the country's most senior gardai admitted altering application forms for firearms licences.

Another senior garda responsible for issuing gun licences admitted that he failed to complete mandatory sections on application forms.

Mr Justice John Hedigan had heard evidence that a "substantial" number of application forms were altered after the legal action began.

The judge found that the evidence in two of the three test cases so far showed that the recording process had not been correctly followed.

The gardai have denied claims by the applicants that there is a fixed policy of refusing licences.

However, it has emerged that there are potential problems in up to 17 garda districts throughout the country where there are high refusal rates.

Yesterday the judge was told that it had been agreed between both sides that the current legal action could be set back for a week to facilitate talks.

The action affects up to 200 similar cases lodged by people refused firearms licences. The judge agreed to the week's postponement, but said he did not want to "lose track" of the case.

Irish Independent

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