Covid-positive garda faces reprimand over press briefing attendance

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A chief superintendent has been appointed to lead a disciplinary inquiry after a senior garda breached public health guidelines by attending a press conference while he awaited the results of a Covid-19 test. The test came back positive, leading to up to 25 gardaí, members of the press and public being required to self-isolate for two weeks because they were potentially exposed to the virus.

The officer attended a Garda briefing into the disappearance of Jo Jo Dullard, which was held in Newbridge, Co Kildare last Monday morning.

Shortly after the briefing concluded, the senior garda was informed of the positive Covid-19 test. He duly informed his superiors, who launched an inquiry.

Senior security sources told the Sunday Independent that the officer is now facing “serious” disciplinary sanctions.

“He will be the first man in the history of An Garda Síochána to be disciplined for coming to work sick,” said one source. “The public health guidelines are clear.”

A chief superintendent from outside the region is now leading the investigation. When he recovers, the officer will be required to provide an explanation as to why he attended the media briefing.

At a minimum, he is facing a caution or reprimand for attending the event, sources acknowledge. If his breach is found to be more serious, the “extremely well respected” officer faces having his pay docked, a demotion and even dismissal. However, it is not expected he will lose his job.

Sunday Independent

Source: Irish News