Trial collapses after State unable to vouch for accuracy of Pulse data

Barrister says ordinary citizens ‘should be terrified in their beds’ at development

A criminal trial has collapsed in Limerick after the State said it could not vouch for the accuracy of information held on the alleged criminal record of a man who was allegedly stabbed by his brother-in-law outside a hospital.

Denis O’Driscoll Jnr, of Ballysimon Road, Limerick, had denied one count of assault causing harm by stabbing Edward O’Reilly at University Hospital Limerick on August 29th, 2015.

However, details held on the Garda Pulse system about Mr O’Reilly were queried on Thursday by the defence, which led the prosecution to declare information about another individual had been “merged” with Mr O’Reilly’s file.

The jury at Limerick Circuit Court was discharged after the State - during legal argument - said it could not stand over the accuracy of the relevant information pending an inquiry into the matter.


The accused’s barrister, Brian McInerney BL, said “ordinary citizens of this country should be terrified in their beds at this development”, since criminals or suspected criminals are not the only people whose details appeared on Pulse.

Giving evidence, Garda Donna Ryan said the information held on Mr O’Reilly’s file appeared to be for “a different person entirely”.

Asked by the prosecution if gardaí could “vouch for its accuracy”, she responded: “No”.