There’s nothing about food in this post. But if you want to humour yourself, read the abstract below.
I LOL-ed twice. Once in class when the lecturer gave us a summary of the facts, and again when I reread the facts myself. The particular emphasis of certain facts, makes it even funnier. Can’t wait to comment about it in my essay!!
“The applicant is a police officer (garda). At 11 p.m. on 4 March 1991, when off-duty, the applicant and two passengers, in a private car (described in subsequent police reports as a “jeep”) towing a van on a trailer, crossed from Northern Ireland into Ireland at a United Kingdom permanent vehicle checkpoint in County Derry. Precisely what occurred that night is disputed between the parties. It is not, however disputed that the applicant accidentally drove his car into the checkpoint barrier. The check-point was manned by armed British soldiers, one of whom, a corporal in the British Royal Military Police, approached the applicant after the accident. The Government contend that he asked the applicant to stop and was ignored. The applicant alleges that he did stop and that the soldier then waved him on. In any event, it would appear that the soldier moved towards the car and was hit by the vehicle being towed. He was thrown forward on to the tow-bar and dragged for a short distance until he managed to pull himself up into a standing position on the tow-bar. The applicant maintains that he was unaware of the soldier’s position and continued driving into Ireland. According to the report completed by the Irish Police in April 1991 following their investigation into the incident (see paragraph 9 below), the soldier fired six shots, one of which entered the car’s exhaust pipe, another of which went through the back windscreen and exited through the roof. The Government claim that some, at least, of these shots were fired in Northern Ireland. According to the applicant he heard the shots and, fearing a terrorist attack, continued driving until he reached a police station, where he considered he would be safe. He stopped the car about two miles from the border, in the village of Muff, in County Donegal, Ireland. According to the police report, at this stage the soldier, described by witnesses as in a state of “blind panic”, ordered the applicant and the two passengers to get out of the car and stand against the wall with their hands in the air. The applicant alleges that he turned to face the soldier, intending to explain that he was a police officer and that there was no cause for alarm. Again, according to the applicant, the soldier then aimed his gun at him and pulled the trigger twice, although the shots did not fire because the gun jammed.
8. The Irish police had been notified of the incident at the border and soon arrived at Muff. The applicant was arrested on suspicion of driving having consumed excess alcohol. He refused to comply with police requests to provide blood and urine samples.
9. As mentioned above, the Irish Police carried out an inquiry into the incident in the course of which 71 witnesses were interviewed. In his report the investigating officer concluded that the applicant had shown “a regrettable degree of recklessness” in leaving the scene of the accident at the check-point. The report continued:
“This was a most serious incident and one which could have resulted in the serious injury or death of one or more persons. First of all the soldier was at great risk, had he fallen off the draw-bar. The three occupants of the jeep may well have been shot by [the soldier] or his colleagues at the check-point. The safety of the bystanders at Muff was also put in jeopardy resulting from the presence of the armed and terrified soldier. This matter has been vigorously and thoroughly investigated and the only conceivable reason that I can find that would prompt Garda McElhinney to deliberately leave the scene of the accident would be because he was intoxicated …”.
The applicant was subsequently prosecuted and convicted in Ireland for his refusal to provide blood and urine samples. No disciplinary proceedings were taken against him, but he was transferred to another area.
10. The applicant alleges that he feared for his life and suffered severe post-traumatic shock as a result of the above incident. On 29 June 1993 he lodged an action in the Irish High Court against the individual soldier and the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. He claimed damages, including exemplary and punitive damages, in respect of his allegation that the soldier had wrongfully assaulted him by pointing a loaded gun at him and pulling the trigger.
-CASE OF McELHINNEY v. IRELAND”