Saturday 10 December 2016

Face of campaign had eye socket fractured in four places

Published 05/11/2016 | 02:30

Garda Helena Power Photo: Dylan Vaughan
Garda Helena Power Photo: Dylan Vaughan

A Garda who was repeatedly kicked in the face and suffered a fractured eye socket has become the face of a GRA campaign.

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The Garda Representative Association yesterday released a shocking advertisement showing injuries sustained by Helena Power, one of its members, during a savage attack.

Garda Helena Power suffered a fractured eye socket in the attack Photo: Garda Review magazine
Garda Helena Power suffered a fractured eye socket in the attack Photo: Garda Review magazine

Garda Power was attacked at a Halloween bonfire in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Her attacker, then 24-year-old Andrew Freaney, was later sentenced to 10 years in prison, with the last three suspended.

During his sentencing hearing at Clonmel Circuit Court in 2012, it emerged he had a previous conviction for assaulting Garda Power on Christmas Eve of 2006, and also a conviction for assaulting her colleague, Garda Eoin Clifford, along with 17 other previous convictions.

Garda Power said she had "lost all appetite" for her job as a result of the attack.

"I'm not the person I used to be. I hate the person I've become because of a vicious and unprovoked attack," she read in her victim impact statement.

Her eyeball needed 14 stitches while two operations were needed to correct eyesight problems after her socket was fractured in four places.

In the advertisement, the GRA says: "Garda Power is just one of thousands of gardaí who daily risk their personal safety to protect and serve the citizens of Ireland.

"No worker should be forced to endure pay cuts, increased workload, and increased risk to personal safety without the opportunity to say 'stop'.

"We now say 'stop'. Our role is unique in all society, and we must be treated as such.

"The Irish Government must now take care of our members, so they can continue to take care of you."

Irish Independent

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