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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Garda chiefs have 'turned their backs' on injured guard in pay row, says family

Garda John Nee (33) was deem 'unfit for duty' in 2014 by a doctor
Garda John Nee (33) was deem 'unfit for duty' in 2014 by a doctor

David Kearns

The father-in-law of a Garda left with “brain injuries” after he was attacked by a drunken suspect has accused the force of turning its back on his son-in-law as they prepare to cut his pay.

In June 2009, Garda John Nee (33) was attacked by a young man while with another officer. Approaching the suspect, who had hours before been released following an arrest for being drunk and disorderly, Garda Nee was punched in the head behind his right ear.

Following the incident, the father-of-four was rushed to hospital after he collapsed a few hours later at the Athlone Garda station. Now, almost seven years on, An Garda Síochána has decided to take Mr Nee off its payroll because his sick leave has exceeded 730 days over the past four years.

Read More: Gardaí lose sick leave appeal battle

“My son-in-law was left with brain damage after being attacked while on duty and he should be on full pay - but instead they have turned their backs on him,” Father-in-law John Feehan (58) told The Irish Mirror.

Mr Feehan said Garda Nee had returned to work a few months after the attack but continued to suffer from headaches and memory loss, which saw him being “on and off” duty until July 2014 when he was deemed unfit for duty after an examination by a Garda doctor.

He said: “They effectively wrote him off and began to pay him TRR, which is temporary rehabilitation remuneration… amounting to about €80 a week after his health insurance was paid.

“He has since been sent a letter… stating that his TRR payment would be cut and that he would be taken off the payroll entirely because his sick leave exceeded 730 days over the past four years.

““It is unbelievable how they are treating him and his family, who have suffered incredible stress and financial hardship, unable to pay back loans and other costs, because of the ordeal.”

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Mr Feehan explained to the Irish Mirror that while Garda chiefs accept that Mr Nee was injured while on duty, they do not believe his injuries prevent him from working.

He added: “[John] can’t even get financial support from his local social welfare office because he is still a Garda.”

“He wants to get back to work… [but requires] special treatment to make him well enough to return.”

An Garda Síochána said the force does not comment on internal matters.

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