Charity agrees to lifting of injunction that stopped gardaí looking at files
6 hrs ago
A disability charity has agreed to the lifting of an injunction it obtained that prevented gardaí from examining documentation seized as part of an investigation into claims that safeguarding records were forged.
Officers seized desktop computers, laptops and files from a Camphill Communities of Ireland (CCI) premises in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, in December 2019.
However, they were unable to examine these after the charity secured a temporary injunction last March preventing searches of the computers and files.
In High Court judicial review proceedings CCI alleged gardaí would not agree to a protocol to safeguard “sensitive material” about service users contained in the files and to determine which material is irrelevant to the inquiry.
However, Remy Farrell SC, for CCI, told Mr Justice Charles Meenan on Tuesday the issue had now been “substantially resolved” and the injunction could be lifted.
In a statement, CCI said an agreement was reached between it and An Garda Síochána over the criteria for a search of certain files.
“It has been agreed that the file search will be conducted in conjunction with a Camphill representative and at times and dates agreeable to both parties,” it said.
“As a result of this agreement having been reached, Camphill agreed to the injunction being lifted by the High Court.”
A garda spokesman said the investigation was ongoing and no arrests had been made.
CCI operates 16 communities in Ireland, catering for around 500 people. It is part of an international movement providing residential care services for people with intellectual disabilities.
The charity runs schools, training centres and “working villages” for adults. Much of its activities are in agriculture, where organic farming and gardening methods are used. It runs shops and cafes.
Details of the garda investigation emerged after the High Court proceedings were taken.
CCI had been seeking declarations that the extent of the materials seized was disproportionate and that privacy rights would be breached if it was searched without “a suitable agreement”.