A 32-YEAR-OLD ex-Garda, whose nose was broken in a head-butting incident by a man he had taken into custody, was awarded €27,400 in the High Court today.
Julian Shanagher told a Garda Compensation hearing that in May 2009, he had been patrolling with a colleague in Tower Hill, Portlaoise, Co Laois, when they came across a public order incident involving youths.
Mr Shanager, of Kingston Lawn, Ballinteer, Dundrum, Dublin, told his barrister, Barry Finlay, that as the youths were asked to behave, one of them, who was “extremely drunk,” shouted obscenities and told them to “F--- off.”
The court heard that the youth, who had been arrested and handcuffed, was “very agitated” in the car on the way to Portlaoise Garda Station, where Garda Shanager was posted at the time.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that as Garda Shanager tried to calm the arrested man at the Garda Station, the youth became irate and suddenly head butted him in the face.
Garda Shanager had been taken to the A&E Department of Portlaoise Hospital where X-rays revealed a nasal fracture. He had suffered pain to his nose, which had been swollen and congested.
Mr Finlay said Garda Shanager, who had been doing in-Garda training to start a new career in the Fire Brigade at the time, had been off work for a month due to his injury. He had joined Dublin Fire Brigade in 2009 and had undergone rhino plastic surgery in 2010 to re-set his nose.
Judge Irvine, having been told Mr Shanager still experiences pain and discomfort from time to time, especially in cold weather, awarded him €27,400 compensation against the Minister for Finance.