A District Court judge has ruled that covert video evidence is admissible in the trials of six people charged with abuse in a Co Mayo care home.

Judge Mary Devins issued the ruling, after defence teams questioned the legality of using the material in a criminal trial.

Last Monday legal representatives for six workers facing abuse charges as a result of an investigation into care standards at Áras Attracta questioned the prosecution intention to use covert video footage as evidence in the trials. 

They contended that such material could only be used in a criminal context if it was gathered by gardaí, members of the defence forces or Revenue officials. 

But this afternoon, Judge Mary Devins said the footage gathered for a report by the RTÉ investigations unit was admissible. 

She said the 2009 Criminal Justice Surveillance Act did not preclude the evidence being used and pointed out that there had been no complaints about trespass by the undercover reporter.

Furthermore, there was no evidence of entrapment, incitement or instigation. 

While accepting the constitutional right to privacy, the Judge said the encroachment on the workers by hidden camera was not unreasonable. 

She said the video evidence would be subject to forensic examination during the trial and that it is use in all circumstances was justified. 

The matter has been put back to November for further mention, when its expected trial dates will be set.