Belfast Telegraph

Man 'was attacked by gardai in bed'

A woman was grabbed by the throat and locked in a bathroom while her son was kicked and punched by four gardai as he lay in bed, a court has heard.

Prosecutors said Owen Gaffney was a "little tearaway" at the time of the incident when he was allegedly hit with batons by officers who had forced their way into his Dublin home.

Four gardai - Alan Conlon, Claire Delaney, Eoin Murtagh and Sean O'Leary - are on trial accused of assault causing harm to Mr Gaffney, forcible entry and trespass at the family flat in the south inner city on February 17, 2008.

Conlon, Delaney and Murtagh are also accused of the false imprisonment of Mr Gaffney's mother Fidelma in the bathroom of her flat on Basin Street Upper.

They have pleaded not guilty to each of the charges at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Tom O'Connell, senior counsel, said there had been conflict between gardai and Mr Gaffney, with claims of an altercation the night before the incident.

"At the time he was a little tearaway when one looks at his criminal convictions," said the barrister.

"But even so, he was still entitled to the full protection of the law and to be dealt with in full accordance of the law."

Mr O'Connell told the jury the case was about members of An Garda Siochana acting unlawfully.

Gardai arrived in numbers without a search or arrest warrant and forced their way into Mrs Gaffney's flat, where her son was kicked and punched by members as he lay in bed, he claimed. The trial continues.


From Belfast Telegraph