140. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the system in place to compensate or provide rectification to a person whose front door was broken and whose property was damaged as a result of action by An Garda Síochána. [43411/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Claims from property owners for damage caused to their properties arising from searches undertaken by the Garda Síochána are delegated to and managed by the State Claims Agency. Claims relating to this matter should be submitted in writing to the Agency for consideration.
In general, however, the State Claims Agency will contest such claims unless there is evidence of negligence on the part of the Garda authorities and/or where the Gardaí did not have a search warrant or other lawful authority to carry out a forced entry operation. Search warrants authorise the Gardaí to use force to gain entry to a property, if necessary, and the Gardaí have no legal liability to the property owner for the damage caused in forcing entry to the property under a legally executed search warrant. The approach taken by the State Claims Agency in contesting these claims has been upheld in a number of claims brought to Court by property owners.