High Court Reporters
A man cleared of an allegation that he had sexually abused a young child in foster care has brought a High Court challenge over a decision by the Child and Family Agency (CFA) to notify the Garda Vetting Bureau of the complaints against him.
The man taking the case, who is represented in the proceedings by Mark Harty SC, cannot be identified for legal reasons.
The court heard that the man, along with his wife, have acted as foster carers.
Two years ago, the man was accused of sexually abusing a girl who the couple had fostered, resulting in the CFA removing the complainant from their care.
At all times the man denied the allegations against him.
The CFA conducted an investigation into the claims.
The agency came to a provisional finding that the allegations of sexual abuse made against the man, who is a father and grandfather, were "founded".
The man successfully appealed that assessment.
An appeals panel found that the CFA's initial finding had been made in breach of the CFA's policies and procedures, and that fair procedures had not been followed.
The gardaí also investigated the matter. The DPP decided not to initiate a criminal prosecution in this matter.
Vetting Bureau notified
Counsel said that despite these findings the CFA decided earlier this year to make a Specified Information Notification about the man to the Garda National Vetting Bureau.
No explanation was given as to why this notification was taking place, and he was not allowed to make submissions in advance of the submitting of the notification, it is claimed.
"It is a case that when you are cleared of something like this then you are cleared," counsel said, adding that it is his client's case that the CFA is not entitled to make such a notification.
In his judicial review proceedings against the CFA the man seeks an order quashing the Specified Information Notification made by the agency about the man to the Garda Vetting Bureau.
He also seeks a declaration that the procedures adopted in making a notification to the Garda Vetting Bureau were made in a manner inconsistent with natural and constitutional justice and in breach of fair procedures.
The man further seeks declarations including that the CFA acted unlawfully and outside of its powers by making a notification about the man to the gardaí, and that the procedures adopted by the CFA in making the notification failed to have regard to the CFA's own processes.
The matter came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan, who on an ex-parte basis, granted the man permission to bring his challenge.
The judge adjourned the matter to a date in December.