A garda sergeant has brought a legal challenge aimed at preventing an internal disciplinary hearing into allegations against her arising out of the circumstances of the death of a 32-year-old man in garda custody.
The action has been brought by Sgt Caroline Maloney, who in December 2007 was attached to Terenure Garda Station in Dublin,
She claims a garda inquiry due to take place early next year is unfair and in breach of her rights.
On 30 December, 2007, Mark Reidy, from Drimnagh, died hours after he was placed in a cell at Terenure Garda Station from a suspected methadone overdose.
Shortly after Mr Reidy's death the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission commenced an investigation.
That investigation came to an end in May 2012 when the ombudsman submitted a report to the Garda Commissioner.
Arising from that report, the Commissioner decided to hold an internal garda inquiry into allegations that Sgt Maloney breached garda discipline.
The allegations include that she failed to make proper records, including of phone calls and of a conversation with the late Mr Reidy, in the garda custody record.
It is further alleged Sgt Maloney failed to summon a doctor for Mr Reidy following a conversation with his partner.
A board of inquiry has been convened by the Garda Commissioner to consider the allegations against Sgt Maloney, who is now based in Smithfield in Dublin.
Sgt Maloney, who was the member in charge of the station when Mr Reidy was brought in, claims the holding of an inquiry some five years after the events in question is unfair, that she will suffer prejudice, and cannot obtain a fair hearing.
The delay amounts to a wanton unfairness of procedures, it is claimed.
In her action against the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission and the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, lawyers acting on her behalf claim that the opportunity for fairness in the manner the disciplinary hearings will be conducted has been lost.
The court heard that Mr Reidy was placed in a cell after his detention was authorised by Sgt Maloney.
While she was on duty Sgt Maloney fully complied with garda regulations in relation to person in custody, it is claimed.
Sgt Maloney claims that after he was arrested Mr Reidy had denied taking an overdose.
She claims that Mr Reidy also did not appear to be unwell.
Sgt Maloney says that following inquiries she was satisfied that there was no risk to Mr Reidy.
However, more than two hours after Sgt Maloney went off duty, Mr Reidy was found to be unresponsive and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
In her action she is seeking a number of orders including ones quashing the decision to investigate the circumstances of Mr Reidy.
She is also seeking a number of declarations from the court including that the respondents are guilty of an inordinate, excessive and excusable delay before initial disciplinary proceedings that have breached Sgt Maloney's rights.
Mr Justice Kevin Feeney adjourned the matter to next Monday.
He said he wanted Sgt Maloney's lawyers to narrow down the grounds of their application to bring a challenge.
When that had been done he said he was prepared to allow Sgt Maloney leave to seek on notice to the other parties.
Given that the disciplinary hearing has been scheduled for January, the judge said the application for leave should be heard some day next week.