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Man claims government department gave private investigator his personal information

David Lannon has alleged that the information was given to the investigator on behalf of Allied Irish Bank.

184752405_13e7cb5b74_b Source: William Murphy

AN EMPLOYEE OF the Department of Social Protection handed over personal information about an unemployed construction worker to a private investigator working on behalf of Allied Irish Bank (AIB), the High Court has heard.

David Lannon, of Cope View, Deepforde in Drogheda claims the Minister for Social Protection breached his constitutional rights in August 2014 when somebody in the department gave unauthorised access to his private and confidential files to a private detective acting on behalf of AIB.

He claims this amounts to a breach of both his constitutional rights and rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Lannon is in dispute with the bank, and a case between them is pending before the Circuit Court.

He claims that arising out of the alleged breach he reported the matter to both the Data Protection Commissioner and the Department of Social Protection a year ago.

A criminal case, currently before the District Court, has been brought against the person working on behalf of the bank. That case currently stands adjourned.

Internal investigation

In a sworn statement supporting his application, Lannon said that arising out of his complaint to the department he is aware an employee of the department is currently suspended on full pay. An internal investigation is underway, he claims.

He said he contacted the department to check in on the progress of the investigation. He was told such investigations take time and he will be informed as soon as the investigation is completed.

He said he fears AIB’s action against him will be completed before he gets the chance to complete his action against the minister. Unhappy with the progress in the matter, he says he has no option other than to come to court seeking various orders.

In his action, in which he seeks damages against the minister, Lannon is seeking an order compelling the minister to identify to him the person he says handed over the information to the private investigator.

Injunction

He also seeks an injunction preventing the minister from deleting any material from either the unnamed employee’s computer or the department’s mainframe computer.

He further seeks an order allowing him to inspect the employee’s computer and any other computer system that person had access to in the course of their daily duties.

At the High Court today Mr Justice Paul Gilligan granted Lannon permission, on an ex-parte basis, to serve short of the injunction proceedings on the Minister for Social Protection.

The judge adjourned the matter for a week.

Comments on this story are disabled as it concerns an ongoing legal matter

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Aodhan O Faolain

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