Man dismissed from Garda HQ over child porn loses High Court action

Thursday 11 April 2013 17.26
Anthony Purdy of Rosscourt Heights, Lucan was attached to the finger print section at Garda HQ
Anthony Purdy of Rosscourt Heights, Lucan was attached to the finger print section at Garda HQ

A clerical worker dismissed from Garda Headquarters after admitting possession of child pornography has lost his High Court action challenging his dismissal.

Anthony Purdy of Rosscourt Heights, Lucan was attached to the finger print section at Garda HQ.

He pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography after videos were found at his home in 2009.

The case against him was struck out at the District Court in 2011 after he paid €2,500 to charity.

Internal disciplinary proceedings were taken against him and he was suspended with pay from July 2010.

In early 2012 the Garda Commissioner decided he should be dismissed from his job. He appealed the decision to an internal appeals board in the civil service which recommended the sanction was too severe.

However the Garda Commissioner did not accept the non binding recommendation and repeated that he could not accept such conduct within the force.

Mr Purdy then challenged the decision in the High Court.

In his judgment the President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said he was satisfied the decision to dismiss was due to the fact that Mr Purdy had pleaded guilty to a criminal offence, the seriousness of which was reflected in the penalty attached to it.

He said the commissioner was entitled to take the view the conduct admitted by Mr Purdy amounted to serious misconduct, including knowingly acting illegally with implications for employment.

He said it was still open to Mr Purdy to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal at the Employment Appeals Tribunal.