Sunday 17 November 2019

Garda's life 'turned into hell' by taxi theft claim

Garda Padraig Dennehy, who is attached to Mountjoy Garda Station, pictured leaving the Bridewell District Court after a District Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Garda Padraig Dennehy, who is attached to Mountjoy Garda Station, pictured leaving the Bridewell District Court after a District Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Paul Williams

Paul Williams

A GARDA who resolved a row between a taxi driver and a passenger over a €6.25 fare had his life "turned into a living hell" after he later found himself charged with theft and assault.

Dublin District Court acquitted Garda Padraig Dennehy of any wrongdoing late last year after Judge Marian O'Leary heard that he had simply been doing his duty as an officer.

However, colleagues of the 30-year-old, who is attached to Mountjoy station in Dublin, say he was treated "outrageously".

Gda Dennehy was accused of assault and theft arising out of an incident in Dublin city-centre around 4am on March 3, 2013.

The garda took €6.25 from a passenger, Rimas Bastys, and handed it over to taxi man Nadeem Mirza, who was owed a fare and then issued a receipt.

But two days later Mr Bastys, a Lithuanian national, made a complaint to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) which then launched a full criminal investigation that took a year to complete.

Last April Mr Dennehy, a native of Co Kerry, was summonsed to the District Court.

As a result he was barred from all out-door duties and confined to his station for eight months.

A number of Gda Dennehy's colleagues told the Irish Independent that if a garda investigation had been conducted into the same allegations against an "ordinary civilian" that person would "never have been charged" because there was not enough evidence.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has demanded a full enquiry on behalf of all gardai.

A Central Executive Council (CEC) member Damian McCarthy said: "His life was put on hold for the past year simply because he was doing his duty. All of our members are extremely angry over this and are determined that this issue will be allowed to be forgotten."

Irish Independent

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