Seven-judge court unanimously agrees to dismiss Garda Commissioner’s appeal over access to journalist’s phone

The Garda Commissioner has lost his Supreme Court appeal against a refusal to allow gardaí to examine a mobile phone seized from a journalist’s home in an investigation into a violent incident at a repossessed property in Co Roscommon.

A seven-judge Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s finding that a warrant obtained by gardaí to search journalist Emmett Corcoran’s home and to seize his phone in 2019 was invalid and should be quashed.

Mr Corcoran, who edited Strokestown-based newspaper the Democrat, invoked journalistic privilege over the phone’s contacts.

In his judgment on Thursday, Mr Justice Gerard Hogan said the case identified the “lack of safeguards designed to protect journalistic privilege”.

By Aodhan O’Faolain. Original can be view in