Man challenges saliva test demand

Wed, Oct 24, 2012, 01:00

A MAN jailed on robbery charges who refused to provide a saliva sample for a mandatory drugs test has challenged a decision to allow him only screened visits with family and friends until he provides such a sample.

Graham Corbally, who is serving a five-year sentence for robbery, has brought High Court proceedings against the Irish Prison Service, the Minister for Justice, the State, the Attorney General, and the governor of Mountjoy Prison.

Mr Justice Michael Peart granted an ex parte (one side only) application by Michael O’Higgins SC, for Corbally, for leave to bring the judicial review and returned the matter to December.

Outlining the case, Mr O’Higgins said his client believes screened visits are degrading and he did not want to put his family through them.

He was contending the governor breached the rules of natural justice by not seeking representations from his client before deciding what sanction should be imposed.

Corbally had concerns about the criteria used for selection of prisoners for drug tests.

He also had concerns about the storage of samples and the use to which samples may be put, his counsel outlined.

In his action Corbally claims that, while he was detained in Mountjoy Prison last March, he was told by the prison authorities to provide a saliva sample for a mandatory drug test but he had refused for a number of reasons.

As a result of his refusal, Corbally was disciplined by the prison authorities.

Since March he has only been allowed screened visits with family members until he provides a sample.

Corbally is now detained in Portlaoise Prison and is due for release in March.