Friday 17 November 2017

Pictured: Garda received 22 staples and missed five months of work after horror attack

WARNING: Grapic image of injury

Picture shown to delegates at the GRA Conference by delegate Ger Comerford
Picture shown to delegates at the GRA Conference by delegate Ger Comerford
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

This horrific injury was suffered by an unarmed garda when he was grappled to the ground while trying to arrest a crime suspect.

The garda received 22 staples in the elbow wound and was out of work for five months.

The photograph of the injury was displayed today during a debate on assaults on members of the force at the annual conference of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) in Galway.

Kilkenny delegate Ger Comerford produced the photograph of his unnamed colleague, who was assaulted in 2013.

Mr Comerford said the garda suffered a shattered cartilage in his elbow after hitting the pavement when he was pulled down by the suspect trying to evade arrest.

The suspect was later convicted of a charge of assault causing harm.

The association want the legislation changed to create a specific charge of assault on a garda, or any other frontline emergency worker with a minimum mandatory sentence of at least a year.

Central executive member, James Morrisroe, of Cavan-Monaghan division, said they were not trying to "tie the hands" of the judiciary but believed that an assault on a garda should carry a jail sentence on conviction.

At the moment, he said, most assaults were dealt with by the courts through a suspended sentence or a fine.

He said he had been assaulted five or six times during 21 years in the force.

He also called for other deterrents and said that while Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan suggested the garda force was ten years behind with the latest technological aids, he believed the time lag was more like 30 years.

Donegal delegate Louis Browne told the conference how he had served nine months duty with an United Nations peace force in Bosnia in 2002 when the country was torn apart by internal strife but he had not encountered any assaults.

However, within 16 months of returning to work as a garda in Donegal town he had suffered two serious assaults and in one incident received a badly gashed head and had to get eleven stitches for injuries to his fingers in an attack.

He believed he had been assaulted simply because he was a garda.

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