Garda settles case that could have stalled hundreds of promotions

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Garda settles case that could have stalled hundreds of promotions
Garda settles case that could have stalled hundreds of promotions
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A High Court action which had potential to halt the promotion of hundreds of gardaí to the rank of sergeant has been resolved.

Garda Keith Blythe had sought an injunction restraining the progression of the Garda Sergeant Promotion Competition until an internal appeal he had lodged in regards to an inappropriate question he claimed he was asked at an interview was fully investigated and completed.

Gda Blythe’s action arose out of his concerns when he was asked the question regarding “whistleblowers” by a senior Garda officer in the course of an interview conducted in April as part of the competition for sergeant process.

Conduct

As part of his action against the Garda Commissioner and the Justice Minister, Gda Blythe also sought a declaration that the conduct of the Garda sergeant promotion system was tainted with irregularity and flawed.

He also claimed that he was entitled to advance to the Central Board interview.

He further sought damages for what he claimed was a breach of contract and breach of duty on the part of the defendants.

The Justice Minister and the Garda Commissioner, represented in the proceedings by Conor Power SC, had opposed the application, and rejected the garda’s claims about the promotion process.

Gda Blythe’s case first came before the High Court last month, and was adjourned on occasions to allow discussions take place between the sides.

Yesterday, Andrew Walker BL, instructed by Brian Rennick of Rennicks Solicitors, for Gda Blythe, told Ms Justice Caroline Costello that the matter had been resolved and the proceedings could be struck out.

Fairness

No details of any settlement agreement were given in open court.

In his action Gda Blythe, who is attached to the legal department in Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, had claimed the promotion system was without transparency, probity and fairness and was not based on merit as it was supposed to be.

He claimed he was the subject of a flawed interview as a result of inappropriate comments made by a board member.

Irish Independent

Source: Irish