Garda awarded €105k damages over gang assault

Three gardaí were receiving such a vicious beating from associates of a Dublin criminal gang that a detective was forced to extricate them at gunpoint and arrest their assailants, the High Court has heard.

The attack was highlighted at a Garda compensation hearing in which Garda Amanda Lynch was awarded nearly €105,000 damages for the injuries she received in the attack. 

Mr Justice Bernard Barton heard two of her attackers were subsequently jailed and a member of the gang had since been murdered.

Paul McGarry, counsel for Garda Lynch, told the court she and another garda, together with a trainee, were called out to deal with an incident in Foster Avenue, Cabra, Dublin, on November 30, 2007.

When they arrived in the area, a number of assailants, associated with a very serious crime family in that area of Dublin, jumped her and her colleagues and she was viciously assaulted.

Mr McGarry said Garda Lynch suffered injuries to her neck, head, face, and stomach, and suffered psychological injuries and developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

Garda Lynch, 37, and now stationed in Longford, told Judge Barton she was assisting in the arrest of a man when two others came out of a house in the area and joined their friend in an attack on them.

She drew her extendable baton and told them to stand back when she was attacked. Her baton was wrenched from her and she was punched and kicked around her head and face and kicked in the stomach.

She recognised two of her attackers, as she had seen members of the criminal gang on a number of occasions. She and her colleagues were assaulted for about 10 minutes.

Garda Lynch said her colleague distracted her attackers long enough for her to call for assistance. When help arrived, a detective had to produce his official firearm in order to make arrests.

Garda Lynch said she later received information from the State to the effect that information was received that there was a threat to her life. Later, for her own safety, she requested a transfer out of Dublin.

The court heard that Garda Lynch spent 17 hours in the Mater Hospital where she was treated for her various injuries. Blood was detected in her urine.

She was discharged into the care of her GP. Afterwards, she was treated for psychiatric injuries and PTSD, the stress of which led to her developing a chronic attack of psoriasis.

Garda Lynch said she loved her work in Cabra; was keen to get on in her job; and knew that being involved at the heart of the action in an area such as Cabra would attract promotion earlier than being stationed in the country. She realised, however, that she could not stay in Dublin and now enjoyed her work in Longford.

She told Mr Justice Barton she would like to have more children and had been informed that some of the drugs she had been prescribed could make it difficult to become pregnant again.

She would have to come off them for a very long period before she could become pregnant, the court heard.

Kevin Dinneen, counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, presented the court with a previous comparison award in which another judge had awarded €50,000 for similar injuries.

Mr Justice Barton said Garda Lynch had not made a big deal about her physical injuries and minimised her psychiatric injuries, but she had suffered a great deal of stress and her family and social life had been significantly impacted through her psychological trauma. She had, for a period, become a recluse in her home.

She had suffered a vicious attack during which her thoughts were for the young student garda designated to her care and for whom she could do nothing as he, too, was being seriously assaulted. DHowever, despite his early experiences, he remained with the force.

The judge, awarding Garda Lynch €85,000 in compensation against the minister, as well as €19,853 special damages for what she incurred since the attack, said he found her to be completely genuine and accepted all of her evidence.


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