Sunday 21 January 2018

Wallace can be represented in court when Shatter appeals data commissioner's ruling

Mick Wallace, Independent deputy for Wexford
Mick Wallace, Independent deputy for Wexford

Ray Managh

INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace can now be represented in court when former Justice Minister Alan Shatter seeks to overturn a decision made by the Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes

Mr Hawkes had found the then minister failed to uphold his statutory duties when he disclosed on live television that Mr Wallace had been cautioned by gardai for using a mobile phone while driving.

The commissioner, in his decision, found that the then justice minister was a "data controller" in relation to the "personal data" about Mr Wallace at the time of the RTE 'Prime Time' programme.

Mr Shatter has hired legal representation and has lodged appeal documents with the Circuit Civil Court claiming that the commissioner erred in fact and in law in reaching his conclusions.

Solicitor Gareth Noble, representing Mr Wallace, yesterday told Judge Alan Mahon that the outcome of Mr Shatter's appeal could directly affect Mr Wallace's rights and interests.

And Judge Mahon directed that Mr Wallace be joined as a notice party to Mr Shatter's appeal, which means he is considered an interested party and can be represented in court.

Senior counsel Frank Callanan, who appeared for Mr Shatter, and barrister Paul Anthony Mc Dermott, who appeared for Mr Hawkes, told the court they were not opposing Mr Wallace's application to be joined to the proceedings.

Mr Shatter, who subsequently apologised to Mr Wallace, resigned following adverse findings in the Guerin Report into allegations of garda misconduct by whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. The matter was adjourned for mention next month but the court heard the appeal was unlikely to be heard until October.

Irish Independent

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