Gardaí with guns burst in on young girl dressing for school
Armed gardaí burst into the bedroom of a young girl who was dressing for school and pointed a gun at her, a court has heard.
Judge Francis Comerford, in a reserved judgment, awarded €23,000 damages to mother-of-four Vickey Foran, whose home at West Road, East Wall, Dublin, was forcibly entered and searched by the armed response unit.
The court had heard that Ms Foran, who "was almost naked", was on her way to the bathroom at the time. She had withdrawn to her bedroom where she was ordered to lie on the floor. In response to a garda question as to who was under the duvet, she had pulled it back to reveal her two younger children cowering.
Downstairs Vickey Foran's daughter, Hayleigh, was dressing for school when the armed gardaí "burst into her room".
A court also heard an armed garda response unit burst into the home of Mary Foran, handcuffing her and her naked partner on their bedroom floor.
Ms Foran alleged in the Circuit Civil Court that the gardaí at first refused to allow her go to the toilet.
Judge 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".
The court heard that 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.
Mr Biassall, whose home had been searched on the basis that a car registered to "the dangerous individual" had been parked near his house, was awarded €22,000 damages. He had been naked from the waist down and was forced to lie on the floor with his hands cuffed.
The searches of all three houses had revealed nothing and all of the plaintiffs were "decent, hardworking citizens who were not suspected of any wrongdoing whatsoever".
All the plaintiffs, whose homes were raided around 6.50am on November 25, 2009, claimed damages for negligence and trespass causing "intimidation, harassment, humiliation, distress, anxiety and upset".
Ronnie Robins SC, 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.