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Gardai pointed gun at 'almost naked' schoolgirl during home raid

Gardai pointed gun at 'almost naked' schoolgirl during home raid

ARMED gardai burst into the bedroom of a young girl who was dressing for school and pointed a gun at her, the Circuit Civil Court has heard.

Judge Francis Comerford, in a reserved judgment, awarded €23,000 damages to mum-of four Vickey Foran whose home at West Road, East Wall, was forcibly entered and searched by the armed response unit.

The court had heard that Vickey Foran, who “was almost naked,” was on her way to the bathroom when the armed men in black broke in.

She had withdrawn to her bedroom where she was ordered to lie on the floor.

Before lying down, in response to a garda question as to who was under the duvet, she had pulled it back to reveal her two youngest children cowering underneath.

Downstairs Vickey Foran’s daughter, Hayleigh, was dressing for school when the armed gardai had “burst into her room”.

They had pointed a gun at her and directed her to lie on the ground.

A court also heard an armed garda response unit burst into the home of Mary Foran, handcuffing her and her naked partner on their bedroom floor.

Judge Comerford, awarding Mary and her partner Tony Boyle a total of €38,000 damages against the State, said armed men entering their home at Abercorn Road, East Wall, Dublin, had presented as “a great threat”.

He told the couple’s senior counsel Ray Comyn, who appeared with barrister Frank Crean, that cuffing Mr Boyle’s hands behind his back and forcing him to lie naked on the floor and the handcuffing of Ms Foran could not be justified.

The court heard that the armed gardai had been looking for “a dangerous individual” and when they had failed to find him at the home of Mary Foran and Tony Boyle and the home of Vickey Foran they had proceeded to search the home of 48-year-old painter Zakari Biassall, also in Abercorn Road, East Wall.

Mr Biassall, whose home had been searched on the basis that a car registered to “the dangerous individual” had been parked near his house, was awarded €22,000 damages.

He had been naked from the waist down and had also been forced to lie on the floor with his hands cuffed behind his back.

All of the plaintiffs were “decent, hard-working citizens who were not suspected of any wrongdoing whatsoever”.

In addition, all of the plaintiffs – whose homes were raided around 6:50am on November 25, 2009 – claimed damages for negligence and trespass causing them “intimidation, harassment, humiliation, distress, anxiety and upset.”

Ronnie Robins SC, counsel for the State, who appeared with barrister Peter Shanley, was granted a stay on damages and costs to facilitate consideration of an appeal on Judge Comerford’s orders to the High Court.