Councillor made 40 threatening phone calls

By Brendan Grehan

A FORMER Dublin city councillor, who harassed a man by making 40 threatening phone calls, has been ordered by Tallaght Court to pay €700 to charity.

Killian Forde made the phone calls over a six-hour period to Paddy Banks. Mr Banks was on the board of the Integration Centre at the time where Forde had been Chief Executive.

Tallaght court close up

Mr Banks told Judge Patricia McNamara that the calls were “vile personal abuse”

Forde, aged 46, with addresses at Cardonagh Park, Donaghmede, and Sutton Park, Sutton, had pleaded guilty to making a hoax telephone call at an address at Homelawn Drive, Tallaght, on October 7, 2014, contrary to Section 13(1) of the Post Office (Amendment) Act, 1951.

Forde was a Dublin city councillor with Sinn Féin from 2004 to 2010 before switching to Labour. He resigned his seat in 2011 when he was made Chief Executive of the Integration Centre.

The court had heard that on October 7, 2014, Forde made a number of threatening and intimidating calls to one male. The court had heard that the calls were “drunken gibberish” and that the man had been threatened that he would be got, but the injured party had not felt threatened.

Forde was before Judge McNamara for a restorative justice report.

Reading the report, Judge McNamara said that Forde had a career in voluntary work and in going abroad.

She said the incident arose after he was made Chief Executive of the Integration Centre and he was made redundant by a board member that he had never met.

She said Forde had gone to the High Court and he had been reinstated. Judge McNamara said Forde was later made redundant and had gone to work in Sierra Leone.

Forde corrected Judge McNamara and said it was a colleague who had been made redundant by the board member and was reinstated after going to the High Court. He said the board member who had made his colleague redundant was Mr Banks.

Forde said he had no recollection of making the phone calls which took place between 12.25am and 6am.

Judge McNamara noted that he said he had been intoxicated that night.

Mr Banks was present in court and was accompanied by Ms Noelle Fitzsimons from the Court Support Services.

Judge McNamara called on Mr Banks to enter the witness box and give his victim impact statement.

Mr Banks said the calls were “abuse, personal abuse and threats”.

He said: “It was vile, personal abuse of such a nature as to leave me with a deep sense of apprehension that I made a complaint to the gardaí.

"I did not wish to be looking over my shoulder when I go out. I have a number of medical conditions and I am told to avoid stress at all costs. I found this extremely stressful and still do to some extent.”

He added : “ It was said to me I would be got and I would pay for what I did. He did not appear to me to be intoxicated. I will not accept an apology from Mr Forde. I would regard it as an empty formula. I have been deeply offended as to how I have been treated.”

Judge McNamara said Forde had no previous convictions and had complied with the restorative justice services. She noted that he had completed 50 hours of voluntary work with “Give racism the red card”.

She said he was not at a risk of re-offending. She said she would apply the Probation Act if Forde pays €700 compensation to Mr Banks.

Mr Banks said he did not want the money and wanted it to go to the hospice in Harold’s Cross.

Judge McNamara adjourned the case for two weeks for Forde to make the donation.

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