Officer 'whacked in the face' by suspect gets €50,000 for tooth injury
A judge highlighted the courage of a young garda in the execution of her duty as he awarded her more than €50,000 in compensation for injuries.
Mr Justice Bernard Barton heard how Garda Caroline Flynn was injured during an Operation Anvil crackdown on drug barons in 2011.
He said Lucan-based Gda Flynn, despite bleeding from injuries to her face from an assault by a man she had been searching, had pursued him with colleague Garda Suzanne McGrath and arrested him.
"Her actions are indicative of the way in which the vast majority of gardaí carry out their duties," Judge Barton said. "This case speaks out about the dedication of gardaí and the risks they face while doing their duty."
Barrister John Hayden, for Gda Flynn, told the court she had been searching a suspect when he "whacked" her in the face and ran off.
The judge said that during the search Gda Flynn had received a blow to her mouth, injuring her left upper incisor which ultimately resulted in damage to a nerve of the tooth, causing her continued severe pain. Despite having to take time off work, she had returned to duty.
Gda Flynn had told the court she had been part of an Operation Anvil exercise against suspected drug pushers in the Ronanstown-Clondalkin area of Co Dublin when the assault occurred.
Gda Flynn told the court she had benefited from an electrical stimulation procedure to the nerve in 2012 and had been told by her medical expert that she may require future electrical stimulation under sedation.
"No one would put themselves through this unless there is going to be some ongoing benefit. If she doesn't take precautions there is an ongoing risk that the pain could return at any time," Judge Barton said.
Awarding Gda Flynn €35,000 damages for pain and suffering to date and a further €15,000 for pain in the future, Judge Barton directed that if a future stimulation procedure was necessary the €2,000 cost should be borne by the State.
The judge awarded her €3,189 for expenses to date bringing the total award to €53,189 against the Public Expenditure Minister on the basis that the injuries had been caused maliciously in the course of duty.