Garda who drunkenly assaulted and racially abused taxi driver sued in High Court

Dylan O’Loughlin attempted to use Garda powers to seize vehicle and threatened man - court papers

Off-duty garda Dylan O'Loughlin pictured in footage of the incident in Clonee, Dublin on August 15th 2021

A garda who drunkenly assaulted and racially abused a taxi driver while trying to seize his vehicle is being sued in the High Court.

Dylan O’Loughlin called the driver, Mohammad Ali, who is from Kuwait, “scum” and “a black c**t” and took his car keys during a dispute over a fare, court papers state.

They go on to say Mr O’Loughlin produced his badge during the incident and identified himself as a garda before grabbing Mr Ali by the neck, pushing him against the car and threatening to kill him.

Mr Ali is suing Dylan O’Loughlin. He is also suing An Garda Síochána as an organisation, claiming it is liable for Mr O’Loughlin’s actions as he was claiming to act under Garda powers during the incident.


The matter has already been dealt with in the criminal courts following an investigation by the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

In March, Mr O’Loughlin, who is from Donegal but was stationed in Swords, Dublin pleaded guilty in the District Court to public drunkenness, threatening and abusive behaviour, assault and interfering with the mechanism of a car in Clonee, Dublin on August 15th 2021.

He pleaded guilty but asked the judge to not impose a conviction as it would cost him his job as a garda. Judge Gerard Jones called his behaviour “utterly reprehensible” but agreed to strike out the matter, leaving the garda without a conviction, on condition he paid €5,000 to charity.

He was suspended after the incident. The Garda Press Office would not confirm if Mr O’Loughlin remains a member of the force, saying it “does not comment on internal disciplinary matters”.

The incident began just after midnight when Mr O’Loughlin and a female passenger got a taxi from Swords to Ongar Park. The garda fell asleep on the journey and when he awoke he insisted on paying by card.

After Mr Ali informed him he did not have a card machine, Mr O’Loughlin began to insult him and called him “scum”.

Mr O’Loughlin took out his badge and said he was a garda before getting in the front seat of the taxi and going through the glove box and examining the receipt machine, according to court papers seen by The Irish Times.

He pushed Mr Ali and threatened to arrest him before saying he was going to seize the vehicle. He allegedly repeatedly told the driver he will lose his licence and insisted on inspecting the boot for a fire extinguisher.

Mr O’Loughlin then sat in the drivers’ seat and took the keys, meaning Mr Ali was unable to leave. The driver suggested they go to a Garda station to resolve the matter but this was met “by an onslaught of verbal abuse and racial slurs,” the High Court claim states

When Mr Ali asked the garda to get out of his car, Mr O’Loughlin followed him down the road, grabbed him by the neck and pushed him against the car. He then allegedly threatened to kill the driver and made more racist remarks.

Mr Ali managed to escape the garda’s grip before running away and calling Blanchardstown Garda station. Garda arrived and arrested Mr O’Loughlin, who made another racist remark, the papers state.

Mr Ali, who is represented by Mulholland Law, states he was left in a “state of fear” after the incident and that it caused him significant stress and anxiety. He said he stopped working full-time afterwards.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times