Tuesday 16 January 2018

€100k for garda who suffered 'unusual' wrist injury while making arrest

Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A garda and qualified skydiving instructor has been awarded almost €100,000 in compensation by the High Court after suffering a career-threatening wrist injury while making an arrest.

The court found Martina Brant (37) was likely to be confined to desk duties should she return to work as a garda.

The injuries, sustained while arresting a former soldier in Dublin city centre, have also meant it is unlikely she will ever be able to work as a skydiving instructor again.

Mr Justice Bernard J Barton found Ms Brant, who is currently working for a UK law firm while on a career break from An Garda Síochána, had suffered an “unusual” injury, which she would have to bear for the rest of her life. As well as suffering a loss of power and restriction of the movement of the wrist, there was a 20pc-30pc risk of developing painful wrist arthritis in the long term.

The garda suffered the injuries during a struggle as she and a colleague attempted to arrest former Defence Forces signalman Eric Boylan (31) for criminal damage to a garda car on July 2, 2011.

Boylan was subsequently jailed for four years for violently resisting arrest.

Ms Brant’s wrist was injured when Boylan rolled on to her as she tried to pull his arm from under his body to handcuff him.

In a ruling on a claim by Ms Brant against the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Justice Barton said it was a matter of probability that, due to her injury, she would be certified not fit for full policing duties when her career break ends next year.

He said it was likely she would be confined to light and generally office-based administrative duties.

The court heard Ms Brant felt this would limit her career in the force and, as a result, she would in all probability pursue an administrative career elsewhere.

The court heard that prior to the injury, she was performing around 250 skydiving jumps a year. Now she is limited to around 50 and is no longer able to act as a parachute jump instructor.


Tests in February 2013 found she had most likely sustained a tear of the scapho-lunate ligament in her wrist. She underwent reconstructive surgery and was required to wear a cast for six weeks.

A lot of the painful symptoms later abated, but she still had a significant reduction in her wrist movement.

The court heard the range of motion of the right wrist was to 40 degrees of flexion compared with 80 degrees on the left.

The injury had also resulted in a significant loss of power in the wrist. Ms Brant explained how the wrist injury also limited her ability to manoeuvre a student in the air during freefall.

Irish Independent

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