Teenage boys seek access to Garda files in alleged rape investigation

Pair being considered for placement on Juvenile Diversion Programme if they make admissions

The two boys are at the centre of a Garda investigation into the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl outside Dublin last year when they were both aged 15. File photograph: Collins Courts.

The two boys are at the centre of a Garda investigation into the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl outside Dublin last year when they were both aged 15. File photograph: Collins Courts.

 

Two teenage boys subject of an investigation into the alleged rape of a teenage girl have brought High Court challenges aimed at securing access to the Garda investigation files on the incident.

The court heard the two are being considered for a placement on the Juvenile Diversion Programme if they make admissions and accept responsibility for the criminal behaviour alleged against them.

They want access to the investigation files so they and their families can be fully legally advised before they make any final decision regarding joining the programme.

They claim the applications for access have been refused by the local Garda Superintendent on grounds the materials sought are subject of an active criminal investigation.

It is also claimed the applicants have been told the files will be submitted to the DPP if the applicants are not admitted to the diversion programme.

Lawyers for the applicants claim the failure to provide the material means their clients are being deprived of their rights under the 2001 Children’s Act to receive adequate legal advice concerning their possible inclusion in the programme.

Any child alleged to have engaged in criminal behaviour has a right to be fully advised in relation to whether or not they should accept criminal responsibility for such behaviour with a view to being admitted to the programme, it is claimed.

Arrested by arrangement

Such advice cannot be given unless the child’s solicitor, parent or guardian has full access to the material in the investigation file in support of the allegation of criminal behaviour, it is claimed.

Neither of the applicants can be identified for legal reasons. They are at the centre of a Garda investigation into the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl outside Dublin last year.

The two, aged 15 at the time of the alleged incident, were formally arrested by arrangement by gardaí following a complaint.

It is claimed Garda Family Liaison Officers have spoken to their parents about the boys being admitted to the Juvenile Diversion Programmes but the invstigation files are beign sought so they can be fully advised by their lawyers before deciding to take part in the programme.

Arising out of the refusal to provide that material, the applciants have brought judicial review proceedings against both the Garda Commissioner and the Director of the Juvenile Diversion Programme.

They claim the commissioner and director are required by law to disclose all material contained in the files concerning the allegations against them.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan was told this week that similar cases over over an alleged right, under the Children’s Act, to such access are pending before the court. The judge granted the ex parte applications for leave to bring the challenges. and returned them to November.