Midlands kickboxer challenges discharge from the army in court

Aodhan O'Faolain

Reporter:

Aodhan O'Faolain

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

A champion kickboxer from the Midlands has launched a High Court challenge aimed at reversing the Defence Forces decision not to renew his contract.  

Ian Hyland from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, was a serving member of the Permanent Defences Forces (PDF) for 12 years, where he held the rank of private.

In April of this year he "lost his career" and was discharged from the army arising out of a medical condition he has.

Represented by Feichin McDonagh SC, the High Court heard on Monday that Mr Hyland's medical category was downgraded by his employers in 2008 because he has polycystic kidney disease.

As a result of his downgrade, his contract with the PDF was not renewed.

However, Mr Hyland sought to have that categorisation reviewed as he was asymptomatic of the condition.

Counsel said that Mr Hyland's treating consultant doctors in Galway confirmed to the Defence Forces that Mr Hyland, who he said was a champion kickboxer, was suitable for overseas service and could take part in contact sports.

Mr Hyland continued to make the case to his superiors in the PDF that he could carry out all functions and duties he was assigned.

In light of the evidence produced by his treating doctors, which counsel said was first made available in 2011, Mr Hyland sought to have his medical categorisation appealed before a properly constituted Medical Board.

Counsel said that contrary to the terms of relevant regulations of the PDF he was informed by his superiors that he was not entitled to and could not appeal his categorisation to a medical board.

Counsel said that in light of the fresh medical evidence Mr Hyland should have, and was entitled to, have his categorisation reviewed before a Medical Board.
 
In his proceedings against the Minister for Defence, Mr Hyland is seeking an order quashing the decision to discharge him from the PDF of the State.

He also seeks various declarations including that he was entitled to appeal his medical categorisation to a Medical Board, and have his medical categorisation reviewed prior to his discharge.

Permission to bring the action was granted, on an ex parte basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

The matter was made returnable to a date later this month.

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