17 Aug 2022

High Court dismisses probationary Garda's injunction bid

High Court dismisses probationary Garda's bid for injunction allowing her remain with the force

The High Court has dismissed a probationary Garda's application for a temporary injunction preventing the Garda Commissioner from dispensing with her services. 

The action has been brought by Emma Roche, who claims the decision to end her time as a member of An Garda Siochana arises out of her failure to pass a component of a physical examination known as a beep test.

The test comprises of two shuttle runs 20 meters apart before a beep sound is given. She says that she failed to pass this particular test on a number of occasions between late 2017 and 2019. 

She claimed the Commissioner's decision was unfair, and in proceedings against the Commissioner she seeks various orders, including an injunction allowing her to continue to work as a garda, pending the outcome of the full hearing of the dispute. 

Represented by John Temple Bl instructed by solicitor Ciaran Mulholland, Ms Roche had previously secured permission from the High Court to serve short notice of the injunction proceedings on the Commissioner.

The application for the injunction was opposed by the Commissioner, represented by Martin Fitzgerald Bl.

In a ruling on Wednesday Mr Justice Michael Twomey said he was not satisfied to grant the injunction. 

He said the key issue in the injunction application was the fact the Ms Roche had been informed of that her services were to be dispensed of on April 10 last.

This was prior to her lawyers coming to court seeking various orders including the temporary injunction over the Easter weekend.

While the court was not saying the points raised by Ms Roche in her case would not succeed at a full hearing of the matter, the Judge said the Commissioner's decision had already come into effect.

At this stage the commissioner's could not be injuncted, he added. 

The application arose after the Commissioner notified Ms Roche last October that a decision had been taken to dispense with her services as a member of An Garda Siochana.

She appealed that decision through the Garda Representative Association. Her probationary period was extended on occasions.

However earlier this year she was informed that the Commissioner intended to proceed with the decision to dispense with her services. 

The court heard that she passed all other requirements and says she was sworn as fully attested member of the gardai following a ceremony at Templemore in 2017. 

Ms Roche, who had been stationed at Mountjoy Garda Station in Dublin.

Mr Temple told the court she had an exemplary record in the area she had served, and had received references from other members of An Garda Siochana including her superiors.

She had previously been a member of the Garda reserve, and all she wanted to do was serve as a member of the organisation- something her father had done for many years the court heard.

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