Garda played All-Ireland camogie final on 'painkillers' and 'strapping' after she was assaulted while on patrol, court told
A young garda, whose ankle ligaments were torn in a vicious street assault, turned out for her county only days later in an all-Ireland camogie final at Croke Park, a judge heard today.
“I got through the whole match on pain killers, anti-inflammatories and adrenalin but I felt my absence might affect the team’s performance,” former Tipperary centre back Ciara Gaynor told the High Court.
She told Ms Justice Mary Irvine that the whole of the Tipperary team had not performed as well as they were capable of in the 2002 all-Ireland and had lost to Cork.
Barrister Ciara Daly told a Garda Compensation hearing in the High Court that Garda Gaynor had been on patrol duty in Sundrive Road, Dublin, where she was stationed in 2002, and had asked a group of youths to disperse and move on.
Garda Gaynor, a native of Nenagh, now stationed at Castleconnell, Co Limerick, said that as she walked away she heard a youth swear at her.
“I returned to arrest him for a public order offence and he just went crazy," Garda Gaynor told her counsel.
“As I tried to handcuff him he struggled and kicked out. I heard my right ankle snap.”
Judge Irvine heard that the incident had taken place on August 23, 2002 and Garda Gaynor had a date with destiny at Croke Park only 23 days later.
“That day (Aug 23, 2002) I went home and iced my ankle, strapped it up and went to bed,” she said.
“It was badly swollen and next day I had it X-rayed at Naas Hospital but there was no bone fracture. I was prescribed pain killers and anti-inflammatories and given crutches for weight-bearing purposes.”
Garda Gaynor said she maintained camogie training in Tipperary three times a week leading up to the All-Ireland and had managed on medication and heavy strapping.
Ten days after the incident she had returned to duty and less than a fortnight after that was in the colours of Tipperary at Croke Park.
“I got through the whole match on painkillers, anti-inflammatories and adrenalin,” she told Judge Irvine.
Garda Gaynor sued the Minister for Finance, who pays the Garda Compensation bill, after the State had accepted there had been malice involved in the assault.
Judge Irvine said Garda Gaynor, although receiving treatment from the team physiotherapist, had not specifically sought medical treatment. She awarded the garda €8,000 compensation.
The judge also awarded her special damages of €1,050 which included €500 in respect of bandages she had used to strap up her ankle to carry on her duties as a garda and camogie training and matchplay.
Garda Gaynor said she had retired from club and county camogie in 2005 but had returned to club camogie in 2007. Her ankle injury had cleared up completely after two years.