A Derry man has launched a High Court challenge against a decision preventing him from joining the Permanent Defence Forces due to unspecified security reasons.
The action has been brought by 24-year-old Ronan Corey who claims he has not been given any adequate reasons by the Defence Forces regarding the decision not to allow him to enlist in the Irish army.
Mr Corey fears that convictions picked up during The Troubles by his biological father, who has not been part of his life for many years, may be the reason behind the decision.
Mr Corey with an address in Magherafelt in Co Derry, a keen GAA player that has played minor hurling for his county, has no convictions in either Northern Ireland or the Republic.
He has no connections to any subversive or criminal organisations, and in a sworn statement said he has "never been in court in his life" and has never even picked up a parking ticket.
The court heard that last year he was accepted into the PDF, subject to passing medical, fitness and vetting processes, and told to report to Finner Camp in Co Donegal to commence his training.
Despite passing all of those processes he was informed last July that the offer of enlistment had been suspended, and he was to report to Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin for re-vetting.
He underwent the re-vetting process, and was informed in early September that he had been "removed from the competition for Irish Defence Forces recruitment" because he was deemed unsuitable due to failing security vetting.
Mr Corey said in his statement that any attempt to link him to the crimes of his father, he said was "unfair" and amounted to a form of collective punishment, and a breach of the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.
He said he answered all the questions put to him in during the re-vetting process, including one asking if any direct family members had any past criminal convictions.
He answered that to the best of his knowledge his biological father "has convictions during the times of The Troubles." His father’s name was not given in court.
Mr Corey said his biological father had left the family home when he was very young, has not been part of his life, and he did not consider his biological father as being a direct family member.
Mr Corey said that he was "not responsible for his father's political views".
He said his mother had a relationship with a Protestant man who brought him to all his hurling and football matches and acted as a father to him.
That man, Mr Corey said had acted as a father to him has no convictions.
If matters are not addressed immediately he fears that his dream of joining the Irish army will be dashed.
His counsel Gerard Humphreys SC told the court that his client has received "no response" to his written requests regarding the reasons why his security vetting was deemed unsuitable.
The failure to provide his client with adequate reasons for its decision, is in breach of fair procedures and in breach of Mr Corey's rights it is claimed.
In his judicial review action, which is against the Minister for Defence and the Attorney General, Mr Corey seeks several orders and declarations including an order quashing the decision preventing him from joining the PDF.
Mr Corey also seeks an order directing the respondents to recommence his enlistment in line with fair procedures and natural constitutional justice.
He further seeks declarations that his removal from the competition for enlistment is null and void, due to the failure to provide him with any adequate reasons, and due to the failure to comply with fair procedures and the requirements of natural and constitutional justice.
His case came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan on Monday, when Mr Corey's legal team sought permission of the court to bring his challenge.
The judge said he wanted to hear from both sides before taking any decision to grant leave to Mr Corey.
The matter was adjourned to a date in March.