SHOOTING SPARKS DAMAGES CLAIM
SECURICOR VAN ROBBERY IN 1998
THE HIGH COURT will decide whether the partner of a man shot dead by gardaí while attempting to rob the contents of a Securicor Van in Ashford nearly 13 years ago is entitled to damages from the State.
It’s claimed by Gráinne Nic Gibb that her partner, 28-year-old Ronan McLoughlin, didn’t pose a sufficient threat to warrant being fatally shot during the attempted armed robbery on May 1, 1998.
She has brought proceedings against the Minister for Justice and the Attorney General, alleging negligence and breach of duty of care on a number of grounds, including the failure of the gardaí to stop the robbery beforehand and to arrest McLoughlin once they knew the robbery was going to take place.
McLoughlin, from Ballymun in Dublin, was part of a gang of six men who attempted to rob the van containing more than IR£250,000 by posing as council workers so they could block the main N11 road at Cullenmore along which the van was travelling. McLoughlin was shot dead when gardaí opened fire on the gang.
The other five members were arrested and ended up with sentences of between seven and eight years each. They pleaded guilty to having a Kalashnikov rifle, a pump action shotgun and a Magnum revolver with the intent to commit a robbery.
The court was told that in 1998 gardaí from the Emergency Response Unit and the National Surveillance Unit arrived almost immediately on the scene to confront the raiders.
McLoughlin hijacked a civilian’s car and pointed his gun at the gardaí. In return they opened fire and fatally wounded him. None of the raiders’ weapons were fired during the incident.
At the High Court on Friday, the matter appeared before Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne via an application by the State parties to have a preliminary issue determined as to whether Ms Nic Gibb had a valid cause of action. She had initiated the proceedings in 1999 but issues over the discovery of documents had delayed the case.
The application was adjourned by the judge for four weeks to allow the State parties to file an affidavit outlining the facts they will be relying on to prove they owe no duty of care to the deceased or his dependants.