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Dwyer data privacy case may go against Irish State
Graham Dwyer Pic: RollingNews.ie

16 Nov 2020 / data law Print

Dwyer data privacy case may go against State

The Irish State has been warned it might lose a looming European Court of Justice (CJEU) data privacy case.

Mobile phone records were used to convict Graham Dwyer of the murder of childcare worker Elaine O’Hara in August 2012.

Dwyer was sentenced to life in 2015, after a protracted trial. The conviction was immediately appealed on the basis that data retention was incompatible with EU law.

Dwyer’s appeal was heard by the Supreme Court in February, and referred to the CJEU, as it hinged on EU law.


The phone data was key to Dwyer’s conviction. In recent judgments, the CJEU has ruled against data retention of EU citizens, and said general and indiscriminate data holding is not allowed, except in highly specific circumstances.

If the Dwyer case goes the same way, it will have considerable implications for investigators and prosecutors.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland