Sunday 8 December 2019

Prisoner told to remove his underwear and had privates ‘inspected’ by Gardai – court told

Ray Managh

A PRISONER at Longford Garda Station was told to remove his trousers and underpants and had his privates "inspected" by Gardai, a judge has been told.

Judge Matthew Deery heard it was one of a litany of humiliating experiences Gardai put Paraic Brady through after a squad of nine had turned up to arrest him and rifle his home for evidence.

Brady, a jobless man, told the Circuit Civil Court he had been wakened in his bed shortly after nine o’clock on 19th April, 2004, by Detective Garda Jim Campbell, told to get dressed, arrested, handcuffed and taken outside to a garda car in the full gaze of neighbours.

Barrister Ronan Kennedy said Mr Brady, who suffered from depression, had never been charged with any crime despite Gardai suspecting him of having harassed a former neighbour in a letter. A file had been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions but not acted on.

Brady’s elderly mother, Anna, outlined to the judge how she stood in her night clothes on the landing watching Gardai brush past her husband Patrick (since deceased) and ignore his inquiry if they had a search warrant.

She said she had gone back to her bedroom while six Gardai carried out a search of the Brady home at Denniston Park, Granard, Co Longford.

“They must have been there for up to five hours. The place was in bedlam and when they had finished the house looked as if it had been hit by a bomb,” she told the Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Deery.

Paraic Brady sued the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner for assault and false imprisonment as well as trespass on his home where gardai had carried out an unlawful search.

Det Garda Campbell (now retired) who had led the arrest and search team on Brady’s home, told the court he had not obtained a search warrant. He had been investigating the alleged harassment of a former neighbour of Bradys, Catherine Murray, of Caragh, Granard.

He said she had received letters of a pornographic nature purporting to come from a Peter Collins, a suspect of the Murray family but not of the Gardai. He had interviewed Collins before arresting Brady.

Brady said he had been interviewed in the garda station. Some of it was video taped, but sometimes the video would be switched off. He had been called a Nazi. Garda Frank McHugh had said to him:

“You are a lying son of a bitch and you f***ing know you are. If you want a bit of pussy you should go out and get it instead of choking your chicken in front of a computer screen.”

He said he had been humiliated and degraded by the Gardai. He had been told to lower his pants and underpants. His privates had been “looked at” by a number of Gardai in the cell and he had been told it was “routine.”

Judge Deery heard Brady’s computer, discs and music CDs as well as other personal items, including photographs and a camera, had been seized by members of the National Bureau of Investigation who were part of the garda search squad.

Following a two day hearing, in which Gardai denied claims of any wrongdoing, Judge Deery was told today that Brady’s €38,000 claim had been settled and could be struck out with an order covering his legal costs.

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