Meanwhile, In The High Court


Graham Dwyer

This morning.

In the High Court.

Graham Dwyer – who was sentenced to life in prison in March 2015 for murdering Elaine O’Hara in August 2012 and who is appealing his conviction – won a legal action against the Garda Commissioner and the State over data from mobile phones.

He claimed data gathered from his phone should not have been used at his 2015 trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Newstalk reports:

“The data formed a huge part of the trial but Dwyer argued it shouldn’t have been used as it breached his rights.

“The data placed the phone at a specific place at a particular time – however Dwyer, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2015, claimed the use of the data was unconstitutional.

“Gardaí gathered the information using laws that were brought in under a European directive. However the directive was later declared invalid by the European Court of Justice.

The High Court today ruled that Irish laws – which allow for mobile phone data to be retained and accessed – are in breach of EU law.”


TJ McIntyre, law lecturer in University College Dublin and chair of Digital Rights Ireland, has tweeted:

Graham Dwyer wins legal action over phone data (RTE)

Graham Dwyer wins legal action against the State over mobile phone data (Newstalk)

Related: Two data retention cases pose questions for three Ministers for Justice (TJ McIntyre, IT Law In Ireland, 2015)


29 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In The High Court

    1. Panty Christ

      He’s always denied the murder. The only evidence used to convict should not have been used. On the face of it, he’s innocent? Legal coffee drinker??

      1. Cian

        He’s always denied the murder. The only main evidence used to convict should not have been used would not be admissible today.

      2. millie st murderlark

        As far as I understand it, he’s still guilty – in the eyes of the law. The guilty verdict has to be overturned etc. He has the opportunity to do have it overturned in light of today’s ruling.

        If I have that wrong, I’m happy to be corrected. And agreed, LCD would definitely the one to ask. Or perhaps The Old Boy?

        1. The Old Boy

          *Scratches head*

          The crux here is whether the breach was mistaken or conscious and deliberate. It seems here that there was no conscious and deliberate breach and therefore no reason the trial judge shouldn’t have let it go to the jury if the evidence was gathered before the legal position as it now stands was known. Where introducing unlawful evidence is concerned, ignorance is, bizarrely, frequently an excuse.

          I’m sorry I don’t have time to write further on this, it is a fascinating topic.

  1. The Old Boy

    I suspect where more recent convictions are challenged, DPP v Hughes (2012, in the wake of Damache v DPP) would apply, meaning that only those who argued that the use of the evidence was unlawful or unconstitutional at first instance will have this ground of appeal open to them.

  2. Ian-O

    Once more, the bumbling clods entrusted to uphold the law fail us.

    Perhaps the Garda from Longford should be locked in a cell with an invisible Alsatian (German Shepard?) and Dwyer?

    Save us all a packet.

    1. Ian-O

      Em, no. If selling weed is illegal in 2018 and you are convicted of it and its legalized in 2019 you still committed a crime when it was down as being one, so, as said, no.

  3. anne

    Gotta protect the data of psychos I spose.

    I don’t understand why his data being used to correctly identify his whereabouts & communications breaches his rights. Fair enough if any of it was inaccurate but it wasn’t.

    Your rights to privacy shouldn’t take precedence over you being a suspect in a murder. I mean if there’s data confirming he’s a murdering piece of scum, surely society’s rights to have the piece of sh*t locked away outweigh his privacy.

    1. millie st murderlark

      He’s still entitled to his rights, even if he is a convicted murderer. His rights are his rights, even if he may not be deserving of it.

        1. phil

          They do , the law always seems crap when a bad guy gets away on a technicality , but there will come a day when an individual doing the right thing , will use his rights to defend himself from a conspiracy of calumny , where powerful people might try to destroy him.

          if you get my meaning ?

          1. anne

            Well we need processes & procedures to access someone’s data.. not “hey you’re a murdering piece of scum, mind if we check your data” but an application for a warrant to check a physical location.

            The data needs to be kept safe & processes followed to access it, but it should be made available upon request to the gardai, where there’s a suspect like the likes of this animal can be locked away.

    2. scottser

      exactly anne. let him get done for murder, and if he wants to sue about his privacy then let that be a separate case, dealt with on his own merit.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        it would be pretty sickening to see someone like that get a payout from the state over this

  4. Peter Dempsey

    I argue that resentment towards GD is driven because of his privileged, middle class upbringing and status. Not the crime he committed.

    1. millie st murderlark

      I reckon it’s probably just the murder. It’s not exactly an endearing act, is it?

      1. Lilly

        Exactly. And weekends spent working on a chicken farm is not most people’s idea of a privileged upbringing. Not that I have an ounce of sympathy for him. He’s not getting out of jail any time soon. RIP Elaine O’Hara.

        1. McVitty

          yeah but the media said he was from Foxrock rather than Cork so there is an intrigue about social standing that cannot be ignored.

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