DPP has publication ban extended in Dublin child care case

As long as potential for charges is realistic, restriction will continue, says judge

 Judge Brendan Toale extended the order preventing reporting of details of the case. Photograph: Collins

Judge Brendan Toale extended the order preventing reporting of details of the case. Photograph: Collins

 

An order sought by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to prevent publication of details about a child care case has been extended at the Dublin District Family Court.

Judge Brendan Toale yesterday extended the order preventing reporting of details of the case, originally granted in February.

The DPP had applied to prevent reporting pending a decision on whether to prosecute any individual involved in the case.

Previous orders, beginning in May 2014, had stopped The Irish Times publishing details of the case.

They followed applications from An Garda Síochána, the Child and Family Agency and other parties.

Judge Toale said if a prosecution of serious offences was to fail by virtue of the publication of details in the case, it would “hardly promote public confidence in the administration of justice”.

There was an interplay of rights and interests to be considered and balanced, the judge said, including the public interest in publication, which was recognised in legislation.

There were rights to publish and freedom of expression, and there were also the children’s rights to a successful prosecution, he said.

On the basis there continued to be an active investigation and the possibility of prosecution of serious offences, and this was being actively pursued, he would continue to prohibit reporting of the case.

“It is not for me to direct the DPP how long should be taken to conclude, but there are other rights at play, including the right to report,” he said.

To balance those rights, he would continue to require a level of information regarding progress, Judge Toale said.

He extended the reporting restriction for three months.