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Garda passed information to girlfriend, judge is told

A FORMER garda charged with corruption and passing on personal information to his girlfriend has been sent forward for trial.

Daniel Tarrant (50) is alleged to have accessed the personal information at Finglas Garda Station and passed it on to Helena Bruton (51).

She is alleged to have received the data and passed it on to a third party.

Speaking outside Navan courthouse after the short hearing, Tarrant's solicitor Cahir O'Higgins said his client "utterly rejects any allegation of corruption".

Tarrant, of Doon, Kiskeam, Mallow, Co Cork, appeared before Ashbourne District Court sitting at Navan accused of passing information in return for a gift or advantage, contrary to Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

It is alleged the former garda acted corruptly and abused his position in the force by passing the information to his girlfriend -- a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The alleged incident took place at Finglas Garda Station -- where Tarrant was stationed -- on July 16, 2009.

Tarrant is also accused of breaching the Data Protection Act by disclosing personal data on a date unknown between November 9, 2008 and May 15, 2009.

He is further charged with the unlawful possession of a double-barrel shotgun at his girlfriend's home on October 9, 2009.

Bruton, of Cluain Ri, Ashbourne, Co Meath, was before the court charged with receiving data, contrary to the Data Protection Act, at Finglas Garda Station on July 16, 2009.

The charge against Bruton, who is not a garda, also alleges she passed on the information to a third party.

Judge Patrick McMahon was told the pair were arrested and charged with the offences at Navan Garda Station on Tuesday morning.

Both accused are facing trial by judge and jury in the Circuit Court after the DPP ruled the allegations were too serious for the District Court.