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High Court challenge Spokesman for family of Adrian Donohoe's killer challenges dismissal from Reserve Defence Forces

Kealan Harrington denies claims he is a risk to national security and believes his dismissal is linked to his role as public spokesperson for the family of Aaron Brady

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Adrian Donohoe was shot dead during a robbery in 2013 (Garda/PA)

Adrian Donohoe was shot dead during a robbery in 2013 (Garda/PA)

Adrian Donohoe was shot dead during a robbery in 2013 (Garda/PA)

A spokesman for the family of a man convicted of the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe has brought a High Court challenge against his discharge from the Reserve Defence Forces.

Marketing executive Kealan Harrington denies claims he is a risk to national security and believes his dismissal is linked to his role as public spokesperson for the family of Aaron Brady, the man convicted and jailed for 40 years last year for the murder of Det Gda Donohoe.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan heard Mr Harrington joined the Reserves in 2014.

He claims that last April after a meeting with three officers he was told he was being discharged as his services were no longer required and that he was a security risk to the State.

He claims that despite making requests for reasons for his discharge, nothing has been provided to him. He claims his discharge is unlawful and was made in breach of natural and constitutional justice.

Mr Harrington, of Ballintemple, Co Cork, also claims the manner of his discharge ­contravenes Defence Force Regulations. He claims he was given no notice that he was being discharged.

At the meeting with officers in April he claims he was denied the chance to make his case, had been denied a fair hearing, and he has been dismissed without any proper agreed process.

In judicial review proceedings against the Minister for Defence, Ireland and the Attorney General, Mr Harrington seeks an order quashing the decision, made effective on May 17 this year, to discharge him from the Reserves.

Represented by David Geoghegan BL, Mr Harrington also seeks an order remitting the purported discharge to the minister to be determined in law and in accordance with regulations applicable to members of the Reserve.

Counsel said Mr Harrington was never told in advance what the April meeting was about, nor has he ever been presented with the reasons or grounds for asserting that he is a security risk to the State.

Counsel said that following an exchange of correspondence between Mr Harrington's solicitors and the Defence Forces his client was informed that the decision to dismiss him arose out of an incident at the gate of Collins Barracks, Cork, last October.

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Counsel said his client believes that incident arose due to "a misunderstanding".

He added that arising out of the incident at the gate his client was wrongly accused of trying to impersonate an officer. Mr Harrington filed a complaint over that incident which he says was dismissed by a superior officer.

Counsel said his client believes Mr Harrington's decision to act as a spokesperson for the family of Aaron Brady is the reason for his discharge from the RDF.

Mr Justice Meenan directed that the application for permission to bring the challenge be made on notice to the respondents. The matter will return to court in November.

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