I just wonder if any of the Gardai involved here will face disciplinary action, not to mention criminal:
A High Court judge has described as “outrageous” the treatment by gardai of a mother-of-five who was arrested at her home for non-payment of a parking fine and who sustained injuries after the garda car taking her to Mountjoy Prison crashed was in collision with another vehicle.
Mr Justice Paul Butler yesterday awarded €25,000 damages to Ms Geraldine Coleman arising from the incident and also awarded costs to her on the Circuit Court scale.
The judge said: “She failed to pay a parking fine and at least five gardai, four of them male, arrived at her home at 6am. That is the Garda case.
“Taking every word the gardai said as true, it is still outrageous. She tries to go back for her shoes and she was grabbed by a garda and flung up on the bonnet of the car and handcuffed. There is no excuse whatsoever for such behaviour.”
Ms Coleman, (45) from Beechmount Grove, Navan, Co Meath, had sued the Minister for Finance and Mr Andrew Hyland, from Trim, Co Meath, the driver of a vehicle which was involved in the collision with the Garda patrol car.
She alleged she sustained injuries when the car crashed.
The judge found Mr Hyland blameless and “entirely innocent ” and made the award against the Minister only.
The accident occurred on the Dunshaughlin Road at the junction for Trim in heavy traffic on the morning of September 20th 2002 and extensive damage was caused to the cars involved.
In his judgment, Mr Justice Butler said it was most outrageous and outlandish that gardai had impressed on the State in the case to blame Ms Coleman for not wearing a seatbelt in the car when she was handcuffed with her hands behind her back.
He said the patrol car which crashed was straddling the island and was being driven at least partially on the wrong side of the road. The “excuse” for this behaviour” from the “poor” garda driver was that she was subject to verbal abuse from Ms Coleman.