Graham Dwyer’s challenge over use of phone records to begin

Convicted murderer claims breach of his rights to privacy in his High Court action

During Graham Dwyer’s trial, his lawyers argued the mobile phone data was inadmissible as evidence but those arguments were rejected by the trial judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt. File hotograph: Cyril Byrne

During Graham Dwyer’s trial, his lawyers argued the mobile phone data was inadmissible as evidence but those arguments were rejected by the trial judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt. File hotograph: Cyril Byrne

 

A legal challenge by convicted murderer Graham Dwyer over the use of mobile phone records during his trial is due to open at the High Court on Tuesday.

Dwyer was charged in October 2013 with the murder of Elaine O’Hara and was convicted in March 2015 by a jury following a lengthy trial at the Central Criminal Court. He was jailed for life.

In his High Court proceedings, Dwyer claims provisions of the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 breach his rights to privacy under the Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The directive underlying the 2011 Act was struck down by the European Court of Justice in 2014.

Dwyer’s case, which was initiated shortly after his conviction, raises a number of important issues of law.

The action, expected to last about two weeks, will be heard by Mr Justice Tony O’Connor.

Dwyer will not be in court for the hearing.

Cork born Dwyer, an architect with an address at Foxrock, Dublin seeks a number of orders and declarations concerning admissibility of the mobile phone data.

He also seeks, if appropriate, damages and, if necessary, a reference of issues to the European Court of Justice.

The action is against the Garda Commissioner, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Ministers for Justice and Communications and Ireland and the Attorney General, who oppose his claims.

Dwyer claims the ECJ ruling of 2014 means the Irish legislation implementing the directive was illegal and that data collected on his phone was therefore invalid.

Many requests for disclosure of mobile phone records were made under the relevant provisions of the 2011 Act by gardaí investigating Ms O’Hara’s murder and were granted by the relevant service providers.

Phone data was also admitted into evidence during the trial.

During Dwyer’s trial, his lawyers argued the mobile phone data was inadmissible as evidence but those arguments were rejected by the trial judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt.

Dwyer’s appeal against conviction has yet to be heard.