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Saturday 18 November 2017

Family gets apology over mistaken drug raid on home

Aoife Finneran

a family who claimed they were assaulted and imprisoned after their house was mistakenly raided in a drug search have received an apology.

Kathleen and James Walsh and their children Garry, Seamus and Carmel, of Cregmore, Claregalway, Co Galway, brought a High Court action seeking damages against Justice Minister Alan Shatter, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Attorney General Maire Whelan.

The action arose out of what they claimed was the unlawful entry by gardai to their home on March 4, 2008. They sought damages for false imprisonment, trespass, invasion of privacy, negligence, breach of duty, assault, intentional and reckless infliction of emotional suffering. They also sought aggravated and exemplary damages.

Yesterday the court heard that the case had been resolved mainly on confidential terms.

An apology was read to the court by barrister Paul Greene, for the Garda Commissioner.

"The actions of An Garda Siochana on the night in question are sincerely regretted," he said. "The Walsh family are of impeccable character, upstanding and law abiding citizens.

"The Garda Siochana wholeheartedly acknowledges the stress, humiliation and trauma that they individually and as a family suffered on the night and in subsequent newspaper and radio coverage," he said.

The Walsh family's solicitor said they were "very happy the matter had been resolved".

The family claimed that between 12 and 15 gardai unlawfully entered their home. They claimed James and his sons were pushed to the ground.

Despite requests, the family claimed, they were not shown a search warrant. Mrs Walsh also claimed she was held captive in her own home.

The family claimed the gardai said they lost a vehicle they had been tailing and thought it had turned into the their property.

Irish Independent

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