Garda awarded €25k after his thumbs were injured in arrest
A garda who suffered injuries to his thumbs in an assault 11 years ago had to have his wife knot his tie yesterday morning before attending a Garda Compensation hearing in the High Court, a judge heard.
Garda Dermot Byrne, of Ballyrahan, Tinahely, Arklow, Co Wicklow, told Mr Justice Bernard Barton he still suffers pain as a result of both his thumbs having been forced back over his wrists while making an arrest in August 2006.
He told his barrister Brid O'Flaherty that he and a colleague were patrolling the Camden Street area of Dublin at a time when "the nightclubs were emptying onto the streets" and a young man twice struck the Garda car. Gda Byrne said he had given chase and was arresting the man on a public order offence when he was attacked from behind by a second man. He was grabbed in a neck-lock and his head pulled backwards.
He told Ms O'Flaherty, who appeared with Hughes Murphy Solicitors, that as he was handcuffing the first man his assailant grabbed his thumbs and forcefully hyperextended them. Gda Byrne, who was attached to Kevin Street garda station at the time, said the second man was screaming: "Get off my f**king friend, you pig, I am going to kill you."
He had then aimed a kick at the garda's head, shouting: "I will kick your f**king head in, you bastard."
The court heard Gda Byrne (40) had also suffered neck, shoulder and back injuries but, while these had cleared up after a matter of months, the pain symptoms in his thumbs still lasts.
"When I was dressing this morning, my wife had to knot my tie for me. I couldn't do it myself," he said.
Awarding Gda Byrne €25,000 compensation for his injuries, Judge Barton said he had not been convinced the symptoms he suffered today had been directly medically linked with the 2006 assault.
Gda Byrne was awarded his costs as well as just over €400 for expenses.