Thursday 22 March 2018

Man sexually abused 'on numerous occasions' by officer in garda station 50 years ago settles High Court action

Pearse Street garda station
Pearse Street garda station

A man sexually abused "on numerous occasions" more than 50 years ago by a serving garda has settled his High Court action for damages.

The man brought against the Garda Commissioner and the State claiming he was subject to abuse,  from when he was 12 years of age during the late 1950's and early 1960's, at the hands of Garda Jack Dunne, who died two years ago.

Dunne was stationed at Pearse Street, Garda Station in Dublin, where most of the abuse took place.

He claimed the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice, Ireland and the Attorney General were negligent and in breach of their duty of care towards him.

The defendants were vicariously liable for the sexual abuse carried out by Dunne while he was a member of the force.

The action was opposed on grounds including the claim was statue barred, and the man had delayed in bringing his proceedings.

At the High Court today Mr Justice Kevin Cross was informed the action had settled.

As part of the settlement a statement was read out on behalf of the defendants.

It stated: The "Garda Commissioner is aware of the facts of this case. It was acknowledged the victim suffered at the hands of a man who was at the time a member of An Garda Siochana. An Garda Siochana acknowledges the damage suffered by the man at the hands of Jack Dunne."

"An Garda Siochana are committed to preventing, detecting, and prosecuting such offenders and will continue to take proactive steps to vindicate the victims of such abuse".  No other details of the settlement were revealed in open court.

Afterwards the man, speaking through his solicitor, Pearse Mehigan, said he was happy with the outcome.

In his action, the man said his family knew Dunne through involvement in a football team.

The abuse started when Dunne made arrangements with him to meet after he was coming off duty in Dublin City Centre.

Dunne, he said, brought him to the dormitory at Pearse Street Station where the abuse took place.

Three years ago, he discovered Dunne had been convicted of sexually assaulting other boys during the 1960's.

It left him in shock and brought back all the abuse he had been subjected to by Dunne.

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