Social worker wants to know why gardaí searched his house, High Court told

Dundalk man found door off its hinges and his home in disarray when he returned from night shift

A social worker wants to know why a dozen gardaí with sniffer dogs forcibly entered and searched his home, his lawyer has told the High Court.

As a result of being "left in the dark" over the incident, Ryan Moran has brought proceedings seeking the information used by gardaí to procure a warrant, and a copy of the warrant itself, to search his Dundalk home on April 21st last.

He has not been questioned nor charged with any offence and the search, which resulted in his home being damaged, may have been a case of 'mistaken identity', Mark Murphy BL, for Mr Moran, said.

Mr Moran claims he has been left distraught over the search and no longer feels safe in his home. He also claims his good reputation has been damaged and a cloud of suspicion has attached to him as a result of the search.


Mr Murphy, instructed by solicitor James MacGuill, said his client received a call from a neighbour at 8.45pm on the night in question indicating gardaí intended to “raid” his home at Inniscrew Mews, Avenue Road, Dundalk.

Officers entered his home and searched the premises for approximately 25 minutes, counsel outlined.

Mr Moran was working a night shift and could not leave his post. On returning home the following morning when his shift was completed, he found the door “off its hinges” and his home “in a complete state of disarray”.

He sought information from gardaí that day as to why his dwelling had been searched but did not get any answers, it is claimed. He tried to secure the property as best he could but the door frame and lock were badly damaged, it is claimed.

He left for work on the night of April 22nd and, on his return the following morning, he discovered €5,500 worth of items, including a laptop computer, TV and a guitar were taken from his property and he reported the theft of these items to gardaí.

In the following days and weeks, he made several more requests to gardaí for a copy of the warrant and information grounding the decision to search his home. He claims he is legally entitled to that material but has not been provided with it.

The court heard Mr Moran did get a phone call from a Garda who allegedly initiated the search, telling him the search was legitimate and gardaí are not obliged to hand over the information sought.

It is claimed the Garda also told Mr Moran he had spoken to Mr Moran’s solicitor and conveyed the relevant information to him.

Counsel said, several months later, his client still does not know why gardaí entered his home and believes it may be a case of mistaken identity.

Civil proceedings may be taken by Mr Moran as a result of what happened, counsel said.

In judicial review proceedings against the Garda Commissioner, Ireland and the Attorney General, Mr Moran wants orders requiring that he be provided with a copy of the warrant and information relied upon to search his home.

He claims the refusal to provide him with this material amounts to breach of his rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights, including to fair procedures, his reputation, inviolability of his home and access to justice.

He also seeks damages for alleged breach of his rights.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan, on an ex-parte basis this week, granted leave to bring the proceedings and returned the matter to November.