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Detective agency accused of illegally obtaining personal information

Detective agency accused of illegally obtaining personal information

A PRIVATE detective agency accused of illegally obtaining information from gardai and the Department of Social Protection will face trial in July, a judge has ordered.

Private investigation firm Eamonn O Mordha & Co Ltd and two of its directors, husband and wife, Eamonn O Mordha (61) also known as Edward or Eddie Moore and Ann O Mordha (60) also known as Ann Moore each face 37 counts of breaching the Data Protection Act.

They are based at Limetree Avenue, in Portmarnock, Co. Dublin and are accused of disclosing unlawfully obtained information on more than 30 named people to insurance firms in 2015 and 2016.

The case was before Dublin District Court on Monday when prosecution solicitor Clare McQuillan told Judge John Brennan it was listed for a plea to be entered or a hearing date to be set.

Judge Brennan noted that there would be at least eight prosecution witnesses and he ordered that the one-day trial will take place on July 11 next.

Defence counsel Brian Gageby told the court that substantial disclosure has been received.

He consented to the trial date but asked for the case also to be listed for mention on May 8 next. 

Earlier the court had heard it was alleged that information was obtained without consent of the data controller, An Garda Siochana and Department of Social Protection. 

It was a situation where the defendant company is a private investigation firm and the information was allegedly “passed on” to insurance companies, she said.

The firm had been carrying out surveillance and background checks on people taking personal injuries claims, Judge Brennan has been told.

Mr and Mrs O Mordha are directors of the private investigation company and they are charged under Section 29 of the Data Protection Act with obtaining and passing on the information by connivance or negligence, Ms McQuillan has said.

The company is being prosecuted under Section 22 of the Act, she said.

The prosecution has been brought by the office of the Data Protection Commissioner and each defendant faces the same allegation.