Sunday 15 December 2019

Garda 'devastated when he was charged over incident', court hears

Garda Oliver Cully pictured leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Courts Collins
Garda Oliver Cully pictured leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Courts Collins

Tim Healy

A GARDA suing after he claimed he was wrongfully arrested while off-duty on a night out told the High Court he was devastated when he was charged over the incident.

Garda Oliver Cully, who works on protection duty at Aras an Uactarain, said he was later cleared and found not guilty in the District Court of all charges including drunkenness and breach of the peace.

“If convicted, it was inevitable I would lose my job. It devastated me,” he said breaking down briefly in the witness box.

He added: “It took me over completely. I have suffered. It took a year before it (charges) came to court."

He said it was "maximum pressure for me.

"I fought it to the last. I felt there was a good chance the gardai would be believed. I felt it would finish me.”

Garda Cully has sued the State and Garda Commissioner claiming he was assaulted, unlawfully arrested, falsely imprisoned and maliciously prosecuted as a result him querying a fare a taxi man was going to charge him in the early hours of April 24, 2004.

He is also claiming he was subjected to emotional suffering.

The State defendants have denied all the claims.  They contend Garda Cully was lawfully arrested and that everything was done properly and within the law.

A jury was told Garda Cully hailed a taxi after being at a night club in Dublin city.

When he was told it would be €35 for the journey to his home in Lucan, he said he would pay what was on the meter and he thought he was being overcharged.

The taxi driver drove to two gardai standing nearby.

Garda Cully has alleged he was told to get out of the taxi by a garda and later, when he went to walk away, he was rugby tackled to the ground by other gardai, handcuffed and arrested.

On the second day of the case, Garda Cully

told the court he was out of work for a year after the alleged incident and found it difficult to be as good a father as he had been.

“I was consumed by this. I had a huge desire to right what was wrong,” he said.

Asked by his counsel Martin Giblin what was it like going from being an insider to an outsider in the force, Garda Cully said it was very different particularly in relation to the authorities in the gardai.

He said he wanted to be vindicated.

Counsel for the State, Hugh Hartnett, put it to Garda Cully that a number of garda will say he was heavily intoxicated, aggressive and foul mouthed on the night.

He replied he was not intoxicated and he would have an issue with what the gardai are saying and that they were wrong.

He said he had rebuked a couple of gardai who he said were abusive to him and that is why he was arrested.

He had said he would report them and the taxi man.

The case continues.

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