Senator's brother awarded €140k over attack
A FORMER garda sergeant and politician's brother has been awarded €140,000 damages after he was forced to quit the force due to injury.
Sergeant Dan Sheahan, a brother of former TD and now Senator Tom Sheahan, suffered such injuries during a melee that the Garda Commissioner ordered his retirement.
Barrister Dr John O'Mahony SC told the High Court that Sgt Sheahan, of Westcourt Heights, Ballincollig, Co Cork, was on duty locally in Dunmanway, in December 2003, when he and a colleague had to arrest a man for criminal damage. When they discovered there was no cell available for him they had no option but drive him handcuffed to his home in Enniskeane, Cork.
When they arrived they were attacked by a group of men and he was headbutted and grabbed by the throat, the court was told.
Sgt Sheahan, pictured, received a number of blows to his head and body, and a man had charged at him with a four-pronged pike and tried to stab him. He and his colleague had eventually managed to get into the garda squad car and make their escape.
Mr Sheahan (55) told the court in evidence that he had suffered from post-traumatic depression to such an extent that he eventually had to retire in 2005 on the direction of the Garda Commissioner.
He had aspirations of eventually reaching the rank of superintendent and his life had changed for the worst.
Mr Sheahan agreed with Micheal O'Scanaill, SC for the Minister for Finance, that he worked between 35 and 65 hours a week in the family business, a pub owned by his wife in Ovens, Co Cork.
His wife told Mr O'Scanaill that although it was known as Dan Sheahan's Pub, it belonged to her.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine said she had sympathy for Mr Sheahan's wife and family.
While she did not accept he would have achieved the rank of superintendent, she awarded him €70,000 general damages along with €65,000 loss of earnings up until 2010 and €2,654 special damages – a total of €137,654.