New Garda is still “in limbo” despite the commissioner winning the lawsuit against the fitness test dismissal

A Garda who won a lawsuit last year preventing her sacking for failing an aptitude test has not been reinstated to service, the High Court has heard.

Ublin-based Garda Orlaith Fahy managed to overturn the Garda Commissioner’s decision to dismiss her after Mr Justice Max Barrett ruled that the decision to dismiss her as a Garda on probation was unlawful.

Based in Finglas and Blanchardstown, Garda Fahy graduated and began her career in 2016 as a trainee Garda.

Her probationary period was extended so that she could pass a specific proficiency test after suffering an injury, which she had failed on multiple occasions.

Due to the failures, the commissioner decided in February 2020 to relinquish her services.

In his decision, Mr Justice Barrett found that the Commissioner acted improperly in effectively dismissing her as a probation officer when she was no longer a probation officer.

On Monday, Mr Judge Charles Meenan was told by Garda Fahy’s solicitor Mark Harty SC that his client was not reinstated despite Mr Justice Barrett’s decision last July.

The lawyer said that Garda Fahy’s lawyers wrote to the commissioner on the matter.

The only replies they have received are letters informing them that the matter is “with the Legal Department”.

The lawyer said his client had been unemployed for two years and that the commissioner’s response was untenable and extreme.

Given the time elapsed, it was her case that Mr Justice Barrett’s decision was undermined and ignored by the Commissioner, it is argued.

Due to the failure to reinstate her, the attorney said a new judicial review had to be initiated in order to obtain an order directing the commissioner to reinstate her immediately.

With her lawsuit, she is also seeking the immediate reinstatement of her salary, allowances, pension contributions, back payments and other benefits.

She is also demanding explanations, including that the commissioner unlawfully and wrongly interfered with her career and violated her employment and constitutional rights.

The solicitor agreed with Mr Justice Meenan’s description of Garda Fahy’s situation as “left in limbo”.

He was content to allow Garda Fahy, on an ex parte basis (representing only one side), to start a new trial against the Commissioner.

The judge, noting her lawyer’s responses, said the situation was “not a satisfactory position to find yourself in,” in Garda Fahy’s view.

The case comes back later this month. New Garda is still “in limbo” despite the commissioner winning the lawsuit against the fitness test dismissal

Fry Electronics Team

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