Garda is awarded €45,000 for 'vicious assault'
A GARDA, who claimed he had to take early retirement after he was "viciously" assaulted, has been awarded €45,000 compensation in the High Court.
Peter Lynch (56), of Lee Road, Cork, told a Garda Compensation hearing that on September 16, 2002, he had been with a colleague in a patrol van when they saw a woman and her son in front of their home.
Mr Lynch told his barrister, Lorraine O'Sullivan SC, the man was "very intoxicated and agitated," and he and his colleague had to get out of the van to try and calm him down.
When the "angry and violent" man had been told he would be arrested if he did not calm down, his brother and father had come out of the house and the gardai were "viciously assaulted" by all four members of the family.
Mr Lynch said he was punched on his face and arms and struck on the head, shoulders and back with a piece of timber. He said he felt his life was in danger as the father threatened to kill him.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that the gardai had managed to call for assistance, and three people were arrested.
Mr Lynch had suffered an abrasion to his face and soft tissue injuries to his arms and back. He had been to his GP and had been out of work for a week. He said he later attended a psychiatrist because he had been unable to cope with the incident. He felt he had lost control of the situation and of his life, developing post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks.
Mr Lynch claimed the assault had led to his decision to take voluntary retirement in 2008, after 30 years service. Judge Irvine said she did not accept Mr Lynch's decision to retire was due to the assault only. She said there was no mention of it on his application for early retirement.
She awarded him €45,000 compensation in relation to his physical and psychological injuries.