Detective cleared of dangerous driving conviction


A detective garda has been cleared on appeal of a dangerous driving conviction in connection with a collision on the M50 in Dublin which occurred after he spent hours in a pub.

Det Garda Kevin Keys, who is attached to Mountjoy station in Dublin, lost control of an unmarked Ford Mondeo, which collided with a Hyundai Sante Fe 4X4 driven by Gareth Wooster, who did not sustain serious injuries, on February 6th, 2010.

Last year at Dublin District Court he had been found guilty of dangerous driving, was fined €500 and given a two-year driving ban.

However he brought an appeal to the Circuit Court and yesterday Judge Terence O’Sullivan set aside the conviction.

The ruling, he said, was technical and based on issues raised by defence solicitor Dara Robinson relating to a directive approved by former Garda commissioner Fachtna Murphy.

This directive delegated authority to officers of the rank of superintendent to refer matters to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) for investigation.

Mr Murphy told the appeal court that on January 18th, 2010, he had approved the directive.

Judge O’Sullivan said yesterday that the wording of the directive approved by the former Garda commissioner used the past tense and did not suggest that it was being continued.

Not fully compliant

He held that as a result, a superintendent who had referred the Det Garda Keys case to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission was not fully compliant with the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

He said the ombudsman commission was not to be criticised and the agency had followed procedures it believed entitled it to conduct the investigation.

Judge O’Neill allowed the appeal and set aside the District Court’s conviction of Det Garda Keys.