THE Covid-19 test of a Garda officer which prompted the suspension of a Kerry court hearing has turned out to be false positive.
he revelation came as a senior Garda source indicated that the officer involved had scrupulously adhered to all public health protocols in his handling of the matter.
Gardaí are investigating all the circumstances of the incident last Wednesday at Tralee District Court.
However, a senior source has indicated to The Irish Independent that the officer involved was not asked to undergo the Covid-19 test nor was he advised he had been in contact with anyone suspected of having Covid-19.
Instead, he opted for the personal test purely as a precautionary measure given that several Kerry colleagues had attended a course with someone who tested positive for the virus – despite the fact he had absolutely no close contact with them for the previous week.
The officer was not at the essential training course involved.
It has now emerged that the result he was given from the test last Wednesday was a false positive.
The garda, who has displayed no symptoms of the virus, has been tested twice since and both results were negative.
Last Wednesday, Judge David Waters ordered that Tralee District Court be cleared on being informed that the officer present in court has tested positive for Covid-19.
It is understood the officer received word he had tested positive for the coronavirus while in the court building.
This was then brought to the attention of the Court Service by the officer himself.
According to solicitors present at Tralee courthouse, there were fewer than 15 people in the courtroom and all Covid-19 regulations were being adhered to.
All those that were present in the court – including some of Kerry’s top solicitors, other members of An Garda Siochána and Judge David Waters who presides over the district courts in Kerry – have now been advised to seek Covid-19 tests.
All local court services have been suspended as a result.
Gardaí confirmed that an investigation was underway into the matter but it was unclear what action, if any, would result.
It has now been indicated that the officer involved carefully followed all guidelines and protocols issued by the HSE to frontline workers.
Gardaí stressed that there is currently no impact on Kerry services or Operation Fanacht at a local level.
The court incident occurred after Kerry gardaí confirmed a number of officers have had to restrict their movements following a special
training course at which one individual tested positive for Covid-19.
The course was conducted at a location in Castleisland.
“An Garda Síochána in Kerry Division conducted an essential training exercise in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines as a result of which a number of members are currently ‘restricting movement’ in accordance with HSE Public Health guidelines,” a spokesperson said.