Monday 26 August 2019

Garda whose legs were crushed awarded €975,000

Stole my life: Garda Ciaran Murrihy was driven over repeatedly while on duty. Picture: Collins
Stole my life: Garda Ciaran Murrihy was driven over repeatedly while on duty. Picture: Collins

Ray Managh

A garda whose legs were crushed in a brutal repeated assault in August 2015 has been awarded €975,000 compensation by the High Court.

Garda Ciaran Murrihy, of Macetown, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, was on duty with three other gardaí when he was deliberately crushed between a stolen car and a Garda vehicle, breaking his legs.

The driver of the stolen car, Patrick McDonagh, who was then aged 26, of Bath Road, Balbriggan, later pleaded guilty to having caused serious harm to Gda Murrihy and was jailed for seven years on February 5, 2016.

Barrister Conor E Byrne, who appeared at the High Court compensation hearing yesterday, told Mr Justice Michael Twomey that, following a protracted period of negotiations, the State had agreed on a figure of compensation of €975,000 for Gda Murrihy.

Gda Murrihy, with Garda Lucy Wood - who was also injured in the incident - had been on duty in Clonusk Rise, Hamlet Lane, Balbriggan, on August 2015 when they noticed the stolen Citroen Xsara car that had been taken in a burglary earlier that day.

A criminal court hearing was told later that the two gardaí approached the vehicle and, after the occupants identified themselves, McDonagh slapped the car into reverse gear trailing the two gardaí with him and crushing Gda Murrihy's legs when he hit the Garda car.

In a victim impact statement to the criminal court, Gda Murrihy said he was haunted by the vision of McDonagh driving the stolen car directly at him. As a result of his injuries, he had gone from being a proud garda and active father of two to feeling useless.

"McDonagh stole my life from me and has left me with so little," he had stated. The court heard that McDonagh had continued to drive the Citroen over Gda Murrihy's legs after having jammed him against the Garda squad car.

Irish Independent

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