GARDAÍ DENIED accusations of racial abuse yesterday when a 24-year-old man was convicted at Killarney District Court of resisting gardaí when they were seeking to arrest him.
A charge of drink-driving was dismissed.
David Kiarie, of Ashe Close, Ballydribeen, Killarney, had alleged physical assault and racial abuse against arresting gardaí in Killarney.
Kiarie, who is originally from Kenya and is now an Irish citizen, had denied resisting gardaí.
He had also contested a charge of drink-driving at Rossdara, a housing development, at Loreto Road, Killarney, on May 24th, 2010.
At the end of the proceedings, the man’s solicitor, Liam Ryan, said his client, who had a previous conviction for drink-driving, had never been involved in any kind of public order issue and had no history of violence or assault.
“He feels hard done by,” Mr Ryan said, denying an earlier assertion by Insp Martin McCarthy that “the case was all about looking for handy money, for compensation from the gardaí”.
The court heard the accused was working part-time at Lidl and a student, and father of a two-year-old child whom he was supporting.
Kiarie claimed that both Garda James Daly and Garda Dan O’Sullivan had physically assaulted him and that one of the arresting officers – Garda O’Sullivan – had racially abused him calling him “a nigger”.
He had been three months out of work as a result of his injuries. A previous solicitor had advised him to try to get an Irish witness to testify on his behalf, Kiarie said.
Both Garda O’Sullivan and Garda Daly strongly denied using excessive force, saying Kiarie was very “aggressive” and violent, and additional gardaí and a Garda van had to be called. Kiarie had emerged from the Garda van with injuries to his face which he did not have when he was put there, gardaí said.
Cross-examined by Mr Ryan, Garda O’Sullivan said he never used the word nigger.
The gardaí were on patrol on the night of May 24th last year and observed an Audi drive into the driveway of a house in Rossdara and reverse out erratically, Garda Daly said.
Prosecution witness Paudie Sexton, a neighbour, said he had not heard the word “nigger” being used and he said the accused was kicking and lashing out at the gardaí.
Kiarie said he had been celebrating his brother’s birthday at a barbecue three doors away and had walked to the home of his partner. He had not been driving.
Kiarie’s assertions were supported by his mother, brother and sister in court yesterday.
A complaint by Kiarie to the Garda Ombudsman had not been upheld and the ombudsman was now bringing a prosecution against Kiarie, alleging he made a false report, the court heard.
Judge James O’Connor said there was no doubt that Kiarie had resisted arrest. He convicted and fined him €250.
He said there was no evidence he had been driving in a public place.