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Insurer's private eye admits tax data breach

A RETIRED garda working as a private investigator for Quinn Insurance has admitted asking his daughter-in-law, a former Revenue Commissioners employee, to look up files of people who had claims against the insurer.

Adele McKeown (27), of Knockshee View, Old Golf Links Road, Blackrock, Co Louth, pleaded guilty to disclosing personal data to her father John McKeown (51) on March 5, 2009.

Her father, of Ave Maria, Dublin Road, Dundalk, admitted asking her to disclose the data.

Retired Detective Garda Gerry Murray (58), also with an address in Dundalk, pleaded guilty to asking Ms McKeown to look up Revenue Commission records for a named individual on June 10, 2010.

Adele McKeown was also charged with four other counts of disclosing personal data of four other named individuals, and these charges were taken into consideration.

At the time, she was engaged to and has since married Murray's son, who is a member of the Irish Defence Forces.

A sentence hearing of the three people charged with offences under the Data Protection Act heard that gardai were called into investigate data breaches relating to an executive of Brinks Allied security company.

But the court heard how a garda investigation found the motives for the data breaches were "more mundane than sinister" and related to business associations and not to any other criminal activity.

Judge Patrick McCartan said the breaches in this case were not unduly sinister.

He applied the Probation Act to each of the accused and ordered that they pay €1,000 to the Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

Irish Independent