A man who plastered his issues with gardaí on billboards attached to vehicles parked near Dungarvan Garda Station for 17 months has received a written apology from Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael Finn on behalf of the force.
However, Thomas O’Sullivan, from Midleton, East Cork, says he will continue his protest until he receives an apology from Dungarvan Garda Superintendent Michael Leacy.
On April 19, 2017, Dungarvan gardaí issued a summons to Mr O’Sullivan by registered post, requesting he attend Youghal District Court on charges related to behaviour liable to lead to a breach of the peace.
Mr O’Sullivan never received the summons, which was nonetheless lodged in court on June 2017. When he failed to attend the July hearing, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Mr O’Sullivan said the bench warrant was incorrectly issued, besmirched his name, and should be removed from Pulse, the garda database.
An Post subsequently confirmed that the letter had not been delivered and had been returned to sender, while a Garda Certificate of Postage for April 19, 2017, acquired through the courts, suggested that a tick opposite Mr O’Sullivan’s name had been amended from an ‘x’ to indicate otherwise.
Meanwhile, the rescheduled case against Mr O’Sullivan was dismissed in June 2018. Superintendent Leacy insisted that the bench warrant would remain on Pulse “as it is a factual representation of An Garda Síochána in this case”.
Since early 2018, Mr O’Sullivan has parked two cars and a van near Dungarvan Garda Station outlining details of the dispute on the side of the van and on billboards attached to the cars. The 34-year-old says he has spent almost €3,000 on legal fees to prove his case.
Last March, Mr O’Sullivan contacted Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, who arranged a meeting between Mr O’Sullivan and Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn.
Subsequently, Mr O’Sullivan received a written apology “for the error that resulted in a bench warrant being issued” and an assurance that the Pulse record would be updated “to reflect the fact”.
Superintendent Leacy said he had “no comment”.