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Monday 19 March 2018

'Traumatised' victim of 'thuggish' gardai to sue force

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

A MAN assaulted by gardai in what a judge branded an "act of thuggery" is to take a legal action seeking compensation from the force.

Anthony Holness (38) revealed to the Irish Independent that he has not received an apology or a single cent in compensation from the Garda Siochana over the attack.

Disgraced ex-gardai Daniel Hickey and John Burke are behind bars in a special protection unit since they were sentenced earlier this week.

Garda Sergeant Martha McEnery received a four-month suspended sentence for her part in the assault in Waterford city in January 2010. Mr Holness said he is pursuing a civil action against the Garda Siochana. CCTV showed him being punched in the head after a canister of pepper spray was deployed by Hickey.

He was struck a number of times as he lay on the ground.

Burke, who was operating the CCTV system in the control room of the garda station, diverted the camera from the assault a number of times.

"It was so horrific, it was so brutal what happened to me.

"I knew something had to be done. I'm glad I made the complaint and took the case but I forgive them and I realise that not all gardai are like that.

"I have gardai who are family friends," he said.

Mr Holness also claims Daniel Hickey was "sneering at him" during the trial.

Mr Holness has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I was traumatised emotionally, I would say my spirit was crushed," he said.

The 38-year-old added that being beaten up was like being "shot in the head".

Irish Independent

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