Friday 26 May 2017

State apology for family who claimed harassment by gardaí

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

Tim Healy

The State has apologised to a family who claimed they were harassed and intimidated by gardaí who called to their home several times asking about a person who didn't live there.

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

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan heard the State was offering an unconditional apology and it was accepted gardaí had made a mistake by calling to the wrong address. The family launched legal proceedings after gardaí called to their home eight times over a three-year period.

They said they were law-abiding, had no criminal convictions, and did not associate with criminals. They sought various reliefs including orders restraining gardaí from entering or attending at their home unless they had a valid warrant.

They also sought an order restraining gardaí 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 Justice Minister, Ireland and the Attorney General.

The family claimed gardaí first called to the house in 2014 looking for a person who may have previously resided there, and were told that person didn't live there. In March 2016, up to 12 officers banged on doors and windows. Marek Topolnicki said when he opened the door he was pushed inside and six to eight gardaí forcibly entered and roamed around. He said they did not have a warrant.

Following that incident, the family said their home was watched by gardaí, who also called on other occasions.

The family, originally from Krakow, Poland, have been living and working in Ireland for several years. Mr Justice Gilligan struck out the action with costs to the family.

Irish Independent

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