Challenge to constitutionality of Garda vetting procedure

Thu, Nov 15, 2012, 00:00

A challenge to the constitutionality of the Garda vetting procedure has been brought by a man who claims he failed to get a job as a firefighter because a vetting report included details of minor offences with which he was charged but never convicted.

Trevor Webster applied to Kilkenny County Council in 2009 for the position of a firefighter at Urlingford and, following an interview process, was ranked first.

After a Garda vetting report disclosed five “non-convictions” he was refused the post. The council justified that decision by saying it could not trust him, he says.

The charges against him were minor, he claims, including alleged criminal damage, road traffic matters and theft, and were all struck out without evidence being heard. The allegations were also made by people in dispute with his father over ownership of land.

In his High Court proceedings against the Garda Commissioner, Ireland and the Attorney General, Mr Webster, The Island, Urlingford, claims there was no justification for inclusion of the charges in the vetting report. The State parties deny the claims.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy said she would give her decision later.