Monday 24 June 2019

Garda who injured thumb making an arrest gets €15,000

Barry Hennessy, a Wexford-based garda, says he has to take painkillers before he plays golf. Picture: Collins
Barry Hennessy, a Wexford-based garda, says he has to take painkillers before he plays golf. Picture: Collins

Ray Managh

A Garda, who told a court he was an avid golfer who had to take painkillers before teeing off in cold weather, has been awarded €15,000 compensation for an injury he suffered while attempting to make an arrest.

Wexford-based Garda Barry Hennessy told Mr Justice Michael Twomey in a Garda compensation hearing at the High Court that while there was nothing he was unable to do since dislocating his thumb nine years ago, he sometimes suffered pain and stiffness.

Gda Hennessy (36) told his barrister David Richardson that in June 2009 he was called to a house in Clonard Village, Wexford, where loud music was blaring from open windows and disturbing locals.

He had found the door open and entered, finding a man lying on a couch.

Another man, who had been on a balcony, came in and a discussion took place in which he had been asked what he was doing there and if he had a warrant.

The second man had started to roar and shout.

Gda Hennessy told Mr Richardson, who appeared with Hughes Murphy Solicitors, that he had been pushed and punched in the face. As he attempted to make an arrest, his left thumb was pushed back and dislocated.

When he had reported back to the garda station, a colleague had taken him to the local hospital where his thumb was manipulated under local anaesthetic.

Gda Hennessy told Judge Twomey he was off work for a brief period before returning to light duties. He had a cast on his thumb for several weeks.


"There is nothing I cannot now do with my thumb but when it involves lifting something or gripping something, it can still be painful.

"I have had to take painkillers before playing golf," he said.

He told the court he had been advised that he should have surgery but had not gone down that avenue.

Judge Twomey awarded Gda Hennessy €15,000.

The judge said Gda Twomey had been forced to abandon the arrest and had the dislocation reduced under local anaesthetic.

He had not undergone physiotherapy and while surgery and injection had been suggested, neither treatment had been taken up by him.

Irish Independent

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