Prohibition on unauthorised disclosure of information.
32.—(1) A person shall not disclose information that—
(a) comes into the possession of the Authority by virtue of the exercise by it of its powers under this Act to obtain information, or
(b) comes into the possession of the Authority in the course of a meeting of the Authority held in private at which he or she is present.
(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to—
(a) a communication made by a member of the Authority, a member of staff of the Authority or an authorised officer in the performance of any of his or her functions under this Act, being a communication the making of which was necessary for the performance by the member or officer of any such function, or
(b) the disclosure of information in a report of the Authority or for the purpose of legal proceedings under this Act or pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction for the purposes of any proceedings in that court, or
(c) the disclosure by a member of the Authority, a member of staff of the Authority or an authorised officer to any member of the Garda Síochána of information which, in the opinion of the member or member of staff of the Authority or authorised officer, may relate to the commission of an offence (whether an offence under this Act or not).
(3) If any person contravenes subsection (1) he or she shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
(4) A person who suffers loss or harm as a result of a contravention of subsection (1) shall be entitled to bring proceedings against the person referred to in subsection (5) in any court of competent jurisdiction seeking one, or more than one as appropriate, of the following reliefs in respect of that loss or harm:
(a) relief by way of injunction or declaration,
(5) The person mentioned in subsection (4) is—
(a) if the person who contravened subsection (1) is other than a member or a member of staff of the Authority or an authorised officer, that person,
(b) if the person who contravened subsection (1) is a member or a member of staff of the Authority or an authorised officer and the relief sought, or to the extent that the relief sought, in the proceedings is—
(i) relief referred to in subsection (4)(a), that person,
(ii) relief referred to in subsection (4)(b), the Authority.
(6) An action under subsection (4) shall be regarded as an action founded on tort.
(7) The Authority shall be entitled, in any proceedings, to the same privilege in respect of a communication to or by the Authority, any member of the Authority or any member of staff of the Authority as any Minister of the Government.