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privilege Man appealing taxi license refusal admits he was interviewed over 2014 murder of Paul Gallagher

Mr Gallagher, a 26-year-old father-of-one was shot dead in 2014

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Paul 'Ralph' Gallagher

Paul 'Ralph' Gallagher

Paul 'Ralph' Gallagher

A 33-year-old Dublin man who was appealing against a Garda chief superintendent’s refusal to grant him a taxi licence admitted in court that he had been interviewed at a Garda station in connection with the investigation into the murder of Paul Gallagher in 2014.

The 26-year-old father of one had been shot dead in July 2014. His body was not found until two days after the killing. Just one person has been charged in connection with the death, a man who was sentenced to six months in prison for withholding information.

The Gallagher death is still the subject of a live investigation by Gardai.

The applicant for the taxi licence, Paul Hayden, with an address at Park Lane, Grange Rath, Drogheda was in Navan District Court for the appeal last Friday.

Judge Miriam Walsh heard that he made the application for the licence last June and it was turned down by Chief Superintendent Fergus Healy last September.

Paul Hayden was not charged in relation to the Gallagher death. In court today, Paul Hayden was asked if he had been interviewed about the death and if he had been arrested.

He said he had gone voluntarily to the Garda station because he had known Paul Gallagher. However, the chief superintendent contended that he had been arrested.

Outlining the case for refusal of the licence the chief superintendent said that the applicant had 46 previous convictions between 2008 and 2011, mainly for road traffic offences but including four for driving without insurance and possession of a knife. It was contended that when filling in a form at Donnybrook Garda Station he had written down “minor convictions and refusing a sample as a youth”. The chief superintendent argued that he had been “economical with the facts”.

Paul Hayden told the court that he had been a carpenter on a major building site in Dublin but because he had family difficulties and needed certain hours to look after his eight-year-old daughter, the taxi hours would suit him.

In an application made at Ashbourne he had asked a Garda if it was all right to put down “minor charges” because he did not have the detail to hand of his convictions.

The convictions had happened when he was between 18 and 21 and he had had no convictions since. “I was young and stupid at the time and I made a few mistakes”.

His father had been a taxi driver but because of illness had had to give it up but was willing to “will” his licence to his son.

“I know that having a taxi licence is a privilege and not a right. I have turned a corner over the years. If I’m given an opportunity I won’t mess it up”.

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He was asked by the chief superintendent about a conversation they had had in a Garda station in relation to how many times Mr Hayden had been arrested. The chief superintendent said it was 17 times.

Judge Walsh said that Mr Hayden had not been honest in the way he had gone about the application for the taxi licence.

The wording of his application had been “misleading.

He had four previous convictions for driving without insurance but his convictions had gone beyond road traffic matters.

“In some ways he was economical with the truth.” She refused his appeal against the chief superintendent’s decision.

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