A detective garda, whose face was slashed in a razor blade attack on an aeroplane as he accompanied a deported Nigerian man to Lagos, has been awarded €25,000 damages at a garda compensation hearing in the High Court.
Barrister Breffni Gordon told Mr Justice Michael Twomey that Detective Garda Eamon Moran, of the Garda National Immigration Bureau, was escorting the Nigerian national on a plane flying between Madrid and Lagos when the deportee succeeded in arming himself with a razor blade and launched an attack on him.
Mr Gordon, who appeared with Murray Flynn Maguire Solicitors for the injured garda, said Garda Moran had been lacerated across his right ear, the right side of his face and on his upper back before his attacker had been restrained.
Detective Garda Moran, 44, told the court he was 38 at the time of the attack in March 2012 and was fortunate there had been a doctor on board who administered first aid and applied dressings to stop the bleeding.
On his return to Madrid, he had attended hospital where 29 stitches had been inserted in his wounds and where he remained overnight before returning to Ireland where he saw his GP for further treatment and advice.
Detective Moran, of Templeogue, Dublin, told Mr Gordon he had been treated with anti-inflammatory analgesic medication which he had continued to take as required. The scars on his wounds continued to heal although they remained visible.
He had sustained a significant laceration to his right face and right ear and experienced numbness in the scarring areas.
He said that more than three years after the incident he had been told by a medical expert that while his wounds had fully healed the scarring would be permanent “and will remain with me for the rest of my life”.
Judge Twomey heard that Detective Moran suffered from stress, anxiety and sleep disturbance following the attack and had undergone almost a dozen counselling sessions. In 2015 his medical expert had recorded that he did not suffer from any residual post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Detective Garda Moran told the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform’s legal team led by barrister Esther Earley, that there had been a very short turnaround at Lagos airport and he had not been hospitalised until his return to Madrid.
Initially, people had been concerned for him and he had to tell the story of the attack over and over and he had found this distressing but was better able to talk about it now.
He told the court he had been off work for about four months but had been keen to get back to his full duties. Eight months after the incident while flying with a prisoner to Chicago he had experienced slight apprehension but had successfully dealt with it.
Judge Twomey awarded Detective Garda Moran €25,000 damages together with just over €3,000 special expenses.