Commissioner asks court to throw out harassment claim
THE Garda Commissioner asked a court to dismiss a couple's claim that they have been subjected to an ongoing campaign of garda harassment and intimidation.
Stephen Costello (43), and his wife Karen, of Woodstown Gardens, Woodstown, Knocklyon, Co Dublin, have brought the claim against the Garda Commissioner, who is seeking to have it dismissed because of delay. The gardai deny the claims in the High Court case.
In an affidavit, Mr Costello, who worked in the environmental section of South Dublin County Council, said gardai began their campaign of harassment against him 18 years ago.
In 2005, the couple were granted an injunction restraining any garda from entering their home, except under the authority of a warrant or at the request of a member of the household.
The court heard that Mr Costello, who says he believes gardai mistakenly think he is involved in the drugs trade, says he has never been involved in any illegal activity in the past or the present.
Yesterday, the commissioner asked the court to strike out the Costellos' claims for damages for alleged trespass, intimidation and harassment.
The couple have opposed the application.
Mr Justice Michael White yesterday reserved his decision.
Paul O'Higgins SC, for the commissioner, said there had been an an inexcusable and inordinate delay of several years by the Costellos in progressing their claim, and it should be struck out.
Francis Treanor BL, for the couple, said there had been no inexcusable and inordinate delay on their part.