Protected Disclosures Act 2014
Law enforcement, etc.
17. (1) This section applies to a disclosure of relevant information, other than a disclosure of relevant information to which section 18 applies, that might reasonably be expected to facilitate the commission of an offence or to prejudice or impair—
(a) the prevention, detection or investigation of offences, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders or the effectiveness of lawful methods, systems, plans or procedures employed for any of those matters,
(b) the enforcement or administration of, or compliance with, any law,
(c) lawful methods, systems, plans or procedures employed for ensuring the safety of the public or the safety or security of persons or property,
(d) the fairness of proceedings before a court or tribunal,
(e) the security of a relevant institution, or
(f) the security of any system of communications of the Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces or a relevant institution.
(2) If a person has been prescribed in relation to the relevant information under section 7, the disclosure is not a protected disclosure unless—
(b) if it is taxpayer information, it is made in the manner specified in section 10 to the Comptroller and Auditor General, or
(c) in any other case, it is made in the manner specified in section 10, the conditions in subsection (3) are met and it is made to a member of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann.
(3) The conditions referred to in subsection (2)(c) are—
(a) that the person by whom the disclosure was made has made a disclosure of substantially the same relevant information in the manner specified in section 7,
(b) that a reasonable period for taking action in relation to that disclosure has passed, and
(c) that, having notified the person prescribed under section 7 in relation to the relevant information, the person by whom that disclosure was made reasonably believes that no action has been taken in relation to that disclosure or that any action so taken was inadequate.
(4) If no person has been prescribed under section 7 in relation to the relevant information, the disclosure is not a protected disclosure unless—
(b) it is made in the manner specified in section 10, the condition in subsection (5) is met and it is made to a member of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann.
(5) The condition referred to in subsection (4)(b) is that the disclosure is to the effect that—
(a) an investigation undertaken for the purpose of the enforcement of any law, or anything done in the course of such an investigation, or
(b) anything done for the purpose of the prevention or detection of any offence, the apprehension of an offender or the prosecution of an offence, is not authorised by law or contravenes any law.
(6) Procedures established by Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann may regulate how members of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann are to deal with relevant information disclosed to them under subsection (2)(c) or (4)(b).
(7) In this section—
“relevant institution” means—
(a) a place to which the Prisons Acts 1826 to 2007 apply,
(b) a military prison or detention barrack within the meaning in each case of the Defence Act 1954,
(c) St. Patrick’s Institution,
“taxpayer information” has the same meaning as in section 851A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.