The GRA has begun High Court proceedings against the Garda Commissioner aimed at overturning a directive forbidding members to lobby politicians on station closures.

The Garda Representative Association claims the directive, issued last June, is unlawful and goes beyond the powers of the Commissioner.

The association says the directive is in breach of the Garda Síochána Act of 2005, which gives gardaí the right to communicate with the GRA and for the GRA to represent their interests.

The June directive ordered members "not to communicate directly or through some other person with public representatives with the objective of lobbying or attempting to influence any future decision of the Garda Commissioner without his express permission".

The association is also claiming the directive is in breach of their members' constitutional right to communicate.

The GRA says station closures will directly affect the efficiency and welfare of members.

It says it must be permitted to make representations to the appropriate authorities.

This afternoon the High Court granted permission to the GRA to seek judicial review aimed at quashing the directive and to seek a declaration that gardaí have the right to communicate with the GRA concerning all matters affecting their welfare and efficiency and that the GRA has a right to communicate with public representatives.

The court also directed that the Garda Commissioner be notified of the remainder of the proceedings before they can be heard in full.

Senior Counsel John Rogers told the court that GRA General Secretary PJ Stone wrote to Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning in July setting out the concerns regarding the nature and scope of the directive and calling for its withdrawal.

The association later informed garda authorities they would be taking legal action.