Garda who 'reluctantly retired' gets €200,000 for injuries from assault
A former garda, who "reluctantly retired" because of physical and psychological injuries he suffered after being "viciously" assaulted on duty, has been awarded almost €200,000 in damages in the High Court.
Mr Justice Bernard Barton said Peter Maguire, who sued the Finance Minister under a garda compensation claim, was attacked in September 2005 at Owenabue car park, Carrigaline, Co Cork, in the act of arresting a man.
The assailant hit Mr Maguire several times on his chest, before throwing him against the patrol car.
The judge said it took three gardaí to arrest the man, who was taken to Togher garda station and charged with several public-order offences, to which he pleaded guilty.
The next morning Mr Maguire felt general soreness, exhaustion and pain in his back, right hip and leg.
MRI scans revealed that a right-sided nerve root in his lumbar spine was "markedly swollen", said the judge. Mr Maguire had not recovered from his back pain, which affected his work and family life.
He needed to take time off work several times until his "reluctant" retirement on medical grounds in 2011 at the age of 53.
The judge said the State had argued that Mr Maguire could have continued working on office-based administrative duties.
Awarding him €195,000 compensation, the judge said he was not satisfied that Mr Maguire's injuries were such as to render him incapable of working.
"My impression is that he has come to terms with and settled into his retirement with psychological benefits," the judge added.