Sunday 22 October 2017

Family 'harassed and intimidated' by gardai who called to wrong address receive State apology

High Court. Stock Image
High Court. Stock Image

Tim Healy

THE State has apologised to a family who claimed they were harassed and intimidated by gardai who called to their home on several occasions asking about a person who didn't live there.

The apology was made before the High Court to members of the Topolnicki family who reside at Ashmount, Clonsilla in Dublin 15.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan heard that the State was offering an unconditional apology and it was accepted the gardai had made a mistake by calling to the wrong address.

The family launched legal proceedings after gardai called to their home on eight different occasions over a three year period.

They said they are law abiding citizens and have no criminal convictions, do not associate with criminals, and have never been involved with the police in any jurisdiction.

They sought various reliefs including orders restraining gardai from entering or attending at their Clonsilla home, save for under the authority of a valid warrant issued by a court of law.

They also sought an order restraining the gardai from watching, besetting, harassing or intimidating any member of the family including brothers Marek and Patryk Topolnicki and their wives Malgorzata and Kinga.

The family had sued the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice, Ireland and the Attorney General.

The family claimed gardai first called to the house sometime in 2014 and said they were looking for a person who may have previously resided at there, and were told that person did not live there.

In March 2016, up to 12 officers arrived at the house and after banging on doors and windows. Marek Topolnicki said when he opened to door he was pushed inside and six to eight gardai forcibly entered and roamed around the house.

This upset and traumatised the family, who said they were given no information by the gardai.

He said they did not have a warrant and before leaving the house a member of the garda party gave him a document to sign which Mr Topolnicki was told was a confirmation that no damage had occurred during the search.

Following that incident the family said their home was watched by the gardai, who also called to their door on a number of other occasions.

On another occasion, the family claimed gardai called to their home at 2 in the morning and remained outside for a period with the lights of their vehicle on and the engine running.

The family are originally from Krakow in Poland and have been living and working in Ireland for several years.

Mr Justice Gilligan struck out the action with costs to the family.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News