Saturday 25 November 2017

Gangland murder victim was part of gang who viciously attacked female garda

Garda Amanda Lynch (37), who was savagely beaten in the line of duty, leaving court yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts
Garda Amanda Lynch (37), who was savagely beaten in the line of duty, leaving court yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts

Ken Foy

A gangland murder victim was part of a group of thugs who viciously attacked a respected female garda.

Yesterday Garda Amanda Lynch was awarded almost €105,000 damages for injuries received during a prolonged, vicious assault from associates of a Dublin crime gang who had strong links to slain crime figure Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne.

Heavily involved in the attack on Garda Lynch was Paul Cullen who was shot dead in Cabra in March 2013. There have been no charges in that murder case which was linked to a local feud.

Cullen’s reckless criminal behaviour was seen when as a 20-year-old he was involved in an attack on three gardai including the female officer who was kicked in the stomach.

Paul Cullen who was shot dead in Cabra in March 2013
Paul Cullen who was shot dead in Cabra in March 2013

This then led then Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy to condemn Cullen’s behaviour and that of his cousin Carl Cullen – also from Cabra.

Speaking after visiting the traumatised officers in hospital, Commissioner Murphy said the savage attack had taken place "while they were going about their duty protecting the community".

A year later – in November 2008 Carl and Paul Cullen pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Court to assaulting Garda Amanda Lynch on November 30, 2007.

Paul also pleaded guilty to taking possession of an official garda weapon, and Carl also pleaded guilty to assaulting student Garda Zhihao Weng and to possession of a knuckle duster on the same date.

Judge Katherine Delahunt imposed a three-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended on Paul Cullen while Carl was jailed for a total of five years.

Evidence was given that Paul Cullen took Garda Lynch's weapon and kicked her in the stomach while Carl hit her on the head as she was attempting to arrest another youth.

Yesterday the High Court heard that the three gardai were attacked at Foster Avenue, Cabra, Dublin, on November 30, 2007.

The court heard that a detective was forced pull a gun to help them escape and to arrest their assailants.

Paul McGarry, for Gda Lynch, told the High Court she and another garda, together with a trainee, had been called out to deal with an incident on Foster Avenue on the night.

When they arrived, a number of assailants, who were associated with a local crime family, jumped on her and her two colleagues.

Mr McGarry said Gda Lynch suffered injuries to her neck, head, face and stomach, and suffered psychological injures and developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Gda Lynch, now stationed in the midlands, told Judge Barton she was assisting in the arrest of a man when two others came out of a house and joined their friend in an attack on them.

She had drawn her extendable baton and told them to stand back when she was attacked.

Her baton was wrenched from her and she was punched and kicked around her head and face and kicked in the stomach.

She recognised two of her attackers as she had seen members of the criminal gang on a number of occasions.

She and her colleagues had been assaulted for about 10 minutes.

Gda Lynch said her colleague had distracted her attackers long enough for her to call for assistance and, when help arrived, a detective had to produce his official firearm in order to make arrests.

The mother of one said she had later received information from the State that a threat had been made against her life.

Later, for her own safety, she requested a transfer.

The court heard Gda Lynch spent 17 hours in the Mater Hospital.

Afterwards she had been treated for psychiatric injuries and PTSD, the stress of which had led to her developing a chronic attack of psoriasis.

Gda Lynch said she had loved her work in Cabra. She told Judge Barton she would like to have more children and had been informed that some of the drugs she had been prescribed could make it difficult to become pregnant again.

Judge Barton said Gda Lynch had not made a big deal about her physical injuries and had minimised her psychiatric injuries, but she had suffered a great deal of stress and her family and social life had been significantly affected.

The judge awarded her €85,000 compensation and €19,853 special damages.

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