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Garda in Roma children case released without charge

The NUJ said there were “many unusual aspects’” to the arrest.

File photo
File photo
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Updated: 9.23

THE SECRETARY OF the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ireland has said there are “very many unusual aspects” in the case of a garda who was arrested in connection with the leaking of information to the media.

Yesterday a senior garda was arrested over his alleged dealings with journalists when members of the force took two Roma children from their families.

The Garda Press Office confirmed this morning that the guard has been released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions

Two years ago, two blonde children – then aged 2 and 7 – were removed from their families over fears they had been abducted.

The Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan issued a damning report on the case last July, leading Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to launch an investigation.

The garda’s period of detention was extended by 12 hours yesterday.

NUJ secretary Seamus Dooley said the organisation doesn’t “want to comment on the specific aspects” of the case, but is “watching the developments very carefully”.

“This could have a chilling effect on the work on journalists and that would be our primary concern, particularly in the area of crime,” Dooley said.

He added that the Garda Press Office’s refusal to comment on the arrest is a “departure from the norm”, noting: “Confirming an arrest in no way suggests guilt or innocence.”

“A lot of journalists around the country are going to encounter real difficulties in their dealings with gardaí,” Dooley said.

RTÉ is reporting that the garda in question is the most senior officer ever to have been arrested as part of a criminal investigation.

Garda arrested over leaking of information to media in Roma case

What happened when two Roma children were taken from their families?

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Órla Ryan

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