Retired garda awarded €85,000 in bullying case


A retired Garda detective has been awarded €85,000 damages by a High Court judge who found he was bullied and harassed by his superiors.

William Browne (55), who was involved in several high-profile criminal investigations during his 33-year career, had sued the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice.

Mr Browne, who retired last year, alleged that while stationed at Kilmainham Garda station, he was subjected to a campaign of intimidation and harassment from 2000 onwards.

Among several claims, he alleged he was banned from using a Garda car for 8½ years, deprived of a firearm, subjected to false and unjustified disciplinary charges, and defamed through his name being put on a controversial leaflet.

Yesterday Mr Justice Kevin Cross awarded him €55,000 for bullying and harassment, €25,000 for defamation and €5,000 in special damages. The judge also found Mr Browne was libelled over a political leaflet opposing a development on the Nestle/Rowntree site in Kilmainham, near where Mr Browne lived.

A photocopy of the leaflet, which the defendants accepted contained Mr Browne’s signature lifted from another document, was passed under the office door of one of his superior officers. This was clearly an attempt by some relatively senior members of the Garda to implicate him in a political protest being organised by extremists or subversives, the judge said.