'Gardai kicked me in face and beat me with batons'
TRIAL: Four officers stormed bedroom to launch assault, court is told
A MAN has told a trial that he was beaten with batons and kicked in the face by gardai who came into his bedroom.
Owen Gaffney (21) told the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial of four gardai that one officer held his mother back while the others struck him "from every angle."
Gardai Sean O'Leary, Eoin Murtagh, Alan Conlon and Claire Delaney have pleaded not guilty to forcing entry to a premises at Basin Street Upper, entering as trespassers and assaulting Mr Gaffney, causing him harm on February 17, 2008.
Murtagh, Conlon and Delaney also pleaded not guilty to the false imprisonment of Fidelma Gaffney on the same occasion.
O'Leary, Murtagh and Delaney are based at Kilmainham Garda Station and Conlon is based at Kevin Street Garda Station.
Mr Gaffney agreed that he had been in trouble with gardai before and had "a good number of convictions".
He told prosecutor Tom O'Connell that he had played a football match on the day and afterwards went home and got into bed.
He said when he awoke O'Leary was standing over his bed with a baton in his hand and other gardai were standing around the bed. He said he knew O'Leary because "he was always around my area".
Gaffney said he looked straight at O'Leary who then hit him on the head with his baton. He claimed Murtagh also went to hit him with a baton but he blocked it with his arm. He said he then started getting hit "from all over the place, from every angle".
He said he was "smashed" into the wall and into a wooden bedpost. He saw his mother in the room shouting, screaming and trying to help him. He told the court a garda grabbed her by the neck and pushed her against a mirror before she was taken out of the room.
Mr Gaffney gave evidence that he was taken to the other side of the room while "half knocked out" and sat down on a sofa. He said a garda told him "three seconds", then Murtagh kicked him in the face with his boot. He said the gardai then ran out and his mother came in screaming, "my son, my son." Mr Gaffney claimed he suffered a swollen nose and lip, cuts, bruises and bumps to the head.
He was taken to St James's hospital and later contacted the Garda Ombudsman. He was asked by counsel if he was involved in any incident with gardai to which he replied, "not that I can remember".
The trial continues.