Woman garda was elbowed in the face

PAIN: Assault after officer quizzed drunk man on wall

Andrew Phelan

A WOMAN garda was left in constant pain from a serious neck injury after a young man elbowed her in the face in an "outrageous" assault.

Daniel Kelly (20) deliberately delivered the blow to the garda's face when she questioned him because he was sitting drunk on a wall on a Dublin street in the early hours of the morning.

She was later hospitalised with muscle damage to her neck that is still affecting her life and work nearly two years later, Dublin District Court heard.

Judge William Early told Kelly he would not jail him if he paid €1,200 in compensation to the garda and if a probation report was favourable.

The judge said the sum would not sufficiently compensate the garda for her injury but added he was taking account of the defendant's circumstances as an apprentice plumber.

Kelly, of Clanmoyle Road, Raheny, had denied a charge of assault causing harm to Garda Ciara Kirwan in Killester Avenue on February 1, 2009.

Garda Kirwan said in evidence she was on duty in the early hours when she received a report that a van was being interfered with in Killester. An officer she was with went to investigate while she went with student garda Damien Walsh to speak to the defendant, who she saw sitting on a wall.

When she asked for his name and address, he told her to "f**k off". She approached him and he struck her on the bridge of her nose with his elbow.


"His violence and aggression took me by surprise," she said.

She then took hold of his arm to arrest him and a struggle ensued. The student garda called for backup, then assisted her. Kelly was eventually handcuffed. During the incident, the defendant's grandmother and father came outside and they were told he was being brought to Raheny Garda Station.

She had felt pain in her neck and arm at the time of the incident. However, later on she began to feel dizzy and sick and her left arm swelled. She had a "thumping headache" and was taken to Beaumont Hospital.

She was put on pain medication and muscle relaxants and is still having physiotherapy. She has been in continuous pain and while she was sometimes "okay", it was never "100pc". Simple, everyday tasks like driving caused her pain.

"It has affected me at work, I have had to take leave and sickness days," she said.

The student garda said he saw her head being pushed backward by the blow.

The accused admitted he was drunk on the night and that he might have accidentally struck the garda, but insisted if he did it was unintentional.

He said when the garda asked his name, he kept walking because he felt he had "done nothing wrong" and then felt her hand on his shoulder. He said he "shrugged" and broke free from her before "taking off down the road".