GARDAI have repeatedly broken the law by accessing illegally retained mobile phone data, a barrister has claimed in court.
Michael O’Higgins SC made the call at the Special Criminal Court trial of four men accused of falsely imprisoning and causing serious harm to Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney.
O’Higgins said despite a finding by the Court of Justice of the European Union that mass retention of phone data is a serious breach of citizens’ privacy rights, the government has done nothing.
He added: “That has left another arm of the executive, law enforcement, breaking the law repeatedly, for years and years and years.”
He said gardai had gone beyond “recklessness or negligence” in their repeated breaches of the right to privacy by using search warrants to seize mobile phone data.
A 40-year-old man who cannot be named by order of the court, Alan O’Brien, 40, of Shelmalier Road, East Wall, Dublin 3, Darren Redmond, 27, from Caledon Road, East Wall, Dublin and Luke O’Reilly, 67, with an address at Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan have all pleaded not guilty to false imprisonment and intentionally causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Co Cavan on September 17, 2019.
The trial continues.