A man has told a High Court jury a garda struck him several times with “a weapon” while he was handcuffed and on the ground.

Fergal O’Rourke also claims another garda struck him several times and grabbed him by the throat during the course of his arrest shortly before 9pm at Ballymore, Co Westmeath, on July 12, 2009.

Mr O ‘Rourke, aged 62, of Mullaghcloe, Ballymore, has brought an action seeking damages against the State and Garda Commissioner for the assault and battery he claims he was subjected to.

Mr O’Rourke, who accepted he had two drinks on the date in question, claims he required hospital treatment and has “a lame leg,” over what happened. The incident has left him feeling nervous, the court heard.

The claims are denied. The defendants say Mr O’Rourke was arrested after the jeep he was driving performed a U-turn at a Garda checkpoint. He then went down a laneway, and left his vehicle before being apprehended by the gardaí, it is alleged.

They also say gardaí had to use a baton to defend themselves after he resisted arrest and kicked one of them. Mr O’Rourke told the court he never intended to kick the garda and said as he was falling in the course of his arrest his leg “came up” and “accidentally struck,” the Garda.

Members of the jury were shown photographs of Mr O’Rourke’s legs, feet, and body taken by a professional photographer shortly after the incident.

Mr O’Rourke said he was then taken to Athlone Garda Station in a Garda car and later to A&E in Ballinasloe.

Under cross examination by David Sutton, counsel for the defendants, Mr O’Rourke said he had “no intention of hitting any garda”. He did accept he had been trying to escapewhen apprehended.

The case continues.


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