Former hurler garda is awarded €45,000 after crash with joyriders
A garda who was based in Bray has been awarded almost €45,000 in damages at the High Court after his patrol car was hit head-on by a joyrider, the incident spoiling a promising sporting career.
Garda Niall Maher, who is a native of Wexford, was stationed in Bray when the incident occurred in Shankill in south Dublin, on January 4, 2011.
Garda Maher suffered injuries to his neck and back in the incident, which required extensive physiotherapy and osteopathic treatments. The court heard that the driver drove at him at around 100 km/h.
Garda Maher was told that if he had not been wearing a seatbelt he would have been killed in the crash.
The garda told the court he had played under-age hurling and football for the Wexford county side and had been a goalkeeper for the team in the 2005 minor Leinster hurling final.
He also played handball for his club and county. He said he 'felt very emotional and upset' as he watched Wexford's dramatic win against Waterford because he felt he would have been playing in that game if not for the injuries he had suffered in the crash.
Judge Mary Irvine noted that Garda Maher was an accomplished sportsman and that the injuries impacted on his sporting career.
She awarded him €37,500 in general damages and €7,487 in special damages.
Edward 'Ned' Connors from Shankill in south Dublin was charged with endangerment, dangerous driving, criminal damage, driving without insurance and driving under the influence of alcohol and cocaine in relation to the incident.
He was later jailed for a year and banned from driving for 15 years.