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Private Investigators – Precise Blog – Private Investigator Faces Trial For Unlawfully Obtaining Information

PI Accused of Unlawfully Obtaining and Passing On Information:

A private investigator is facing trial accused of unlawfully obtaining and passing on information gardaí had on three people.

Yesterday, Michael J Gaynor, trading as MJG Investigations, from Beatty Grove in Celbridge, Co Kildare, appeared at the Dublin District Court.

The prosecution has been brought following a probe by the office of the Data Protection Commissioner, and is believed to be the first case of its kind taken against a private investigator.

He is facing 72 counts of breaking the Data Protection Act, from May until October last year.

Mr Gaynor’s barrister. Justin McQuade, told Judge John O’Neill that an adjournment was required.

Judge O’Neill ordered Mr Gaynor to appear again next month when he will be expected to indicate how he will plead. He is accused of three counts of unlawfully obtaining access to personal information held by An Garda Síochána relating to three individuals, and it is alleged that he disclosed the data to others.

He is also facing nine charges that, without authorisation, he got facts on nine other people. It is also alleged this information was passed on to others.

In the remaining 60 charges, it is alleged that he processed information without authorisation on several people in circumstances where he was not recorded in the register established and maintained under the Data Protection Act.

Mr McQuade, defending, told Judge O’Neill he had been furnished with dis-closure of the prosecution’s investigation file last week. He also said some of the material in it may not be admissible as evidence.

“I would like the data protection commissioner to distil the information and set out what he intends to rely upon,” he said.

Sophie More-O’Ferrall, prosecuting, said it was intended that all the information would be used.

Judge O’Neill agreed to adjourn the case for four weeks.

He said the defence could liaise with the prosecutor to try to reduce the issues and some progress may later be made.

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