Bray People - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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