A court has heard a mother of two wet herself with fear when an armed Garda response unit burst into her home and handcuffed her and her naked partner on their bedroom floor.
Mary Foran alleged in the Circuit Civil Court that the armed gardaí at first refused to allow her go to the toilet.
Judge Francis Comerford, awarding Mary and her partner Tony Boyle a total of €38,000 damages against the State, said armed men entering their home at Abercorn Road, East Wall, Dublin, had presented as “a great threat”. He told the couple’s counsel Ray Comyn, that cuffing Mr Boyle’s hands behind his back and forcing him to lie naked on the floor and the handcuffing of Ms Foran could not be justified.
Judge Comerford, in a reserved judgment, also awarded €23,000 damages to mother of four Vickey Foran whose home at West Road, East Wall, was also forcibly entered and searched by the armed response unit.
The armed gardaí had been looking for “a dangerous individual” and when they had failed to find him at the home of Mary Foran and Tony Boyle and the home of Vickey Foran they had proceeded to search the home of 48-year-old painter Zakari Biassall, also in Abercorn Road, East Wall, who was awarded €22,000 damages. The searches of all three houses had revealed nothing and the court heard that all of the plaintiffs were “decent hardworking citizens who were not suspected of any wrongdoing whatsoever”.
All of the plaintiffs, whose homes were raided around 6:50am on November 25, 2009, claimed damages for negligence and trespass.
Full legal costs to the taxpayer were about €200,000.
Ronnie Robins, counsel for the State, was granted a stay on damages and costs to facilitate consideration of an appeal on Judge Comerford’s orders to the High Court.
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