Garda challenges extension of probation period into seventh year

Woman has been subject of disciplinary investigation related to an incident in 2019

The garda alleges the extension of her probation period breaches her rights under domestic and European law. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

A serving garda who has been classified as being a probationer member for the last six years has launched a High Court challenge against the Garda Commissioner’s decision to further extend her probationary period.

Garda Caoimhe Busher, who is stationed at Dún Laoghaire Garda station, has been the subject of a disciplinary investigation concerning how she allegedly investigated and input information into the Garda Pulse system related to a 2019 road traffic incident in south Dublin. She denies any wrongdoing.

The court heard the internal investigation into that matter has not concluded.

In her action she claims she was informed by the Garda Commissioner last April that her period of probation was being extended to October 2024.


She claims this was the seventh time her period of probation has been extended. She says it must be complete after two years.

She alleges the situation is unlawful and the extension breaches her rights under domestic and European law.

The commissioner has unreasonably delayed in assessing whether she has demonstrated an ability to do the job, she says.

Since 2020, she says, two internal boards of inquiry into the allegation against her have either been adjourned, stood down, unlawfully dissolved or have otherwise not made findings of wrongdoing against her. She fears a third board of inquiry will be convened.

She says she has a legitimate expectation that the disciplinary actions against her would have been completed by now.

She also claims the disciplinary proceedings are tainted by unreasonable delay, bias and a lack of fair procedures. These should be discontinued, she says.

She has brought High Court judicial review proceedings against the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice, Ireland and the Attorney General.

Represented by Mark Harty SC, James Kane BL, instructed by solicitor Martin Moran, she seeks various orders and declarations from the court including orders quashing the latest extension of her probationary period.

She also seeks an order restraining the continuation of the disciplinary proceedings against her.

She wants the court to declare that her appointment to An Garda Síochána is confirmed by law and that her probation is unlawful.

The matter came before Ms Justice Niamh Hyland on Monday, who on an ex parte basis (only the plaintiff was represented in court) granted permission to bring her challenge.

The matter was adjourned to a date next month.