arrest row | 

Legal action launched by Dublin teen who claims gardaí used ‘excessive force’ in arrest

The circumstances of Brody McElligott’s arrest in September of last year were widely publicised as the incident was recorded on a smartphone and later went viral in an online video. The teen was aged 14 at the time of the incident.

Finglas Garda Station Credit: Google Maps

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Ali BrackenSunday Independent

A teenage boy has launched legal proceedings against An Garda Síochána after he was left with facial injuries in the aftermath of his arrest and detention for driving a scrambler motorbike in north Dublin.

A garda was suspended following the incident, and a Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) investigation is ongoing.

The circumstances of Brody McElligott’s arrest in September of last year were widely publicised as the incident was recorded on a smartphone and later went viral in an online video. The teen was aged 14 at the time of the incident.

Last week, a legal case over the incident was lodged in the High Court by the teen’s mother, Janet McElligott, on behalf of her son.

The case is being handed by David Harrington of Harringtons LLP, a legal firm in Dublin which specialises in personal injuries cases. When contacted, Mr Harrington confirmed he had issued the court proceedings on behalf of his client.

The boy’s arrest took place in the Deanstown housing estate in Finglas on September 18, 2021.

After the arrest, his mother claimed that her son suffered facial injuries and concussion.

Janet McElligott also alleged the teenager was “spat at in the face” by one of the four arresting gardaí and has “since tested positive for Covid”.

She said the boy was “wrong” to be driving his scrambler around the residential area, and she had no issue with gardaí taking him into custody.

“It’s part of their job to arrest people for wrongdoing. My son has a scrambler bike. He is usually taken out with his father to use it somewhere safely under supervision. We didn’t know he took it out last Saturday,” she said.

“I have no issue with gardaí arresting him for doing this. He would have been punished by us also, but it’s what happened during his arrest that is the problem.

“My son has never been in trouble before. I just want some accountability about what happened to him."

In the aftermath of the incident, a protest took place outside Finglas garda station.

Members of An Garda Síochána are allowed to use force at times during their duties, including when making arrests, but it must be proportionate.

The footage shows the teenager being tackled to the ground by gardaí and then handcuffed. The matter was later referred to Gsoc by a senior garda officer.


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