All issues are still in play in the claim by the widow and family of murdered Garda Tony Golden for compensation, the High Court was told today. Mr Justice Michael Twomey heard the trial may take up to five days.
Barrister Eamonn M.J. Coffey, counsel for Garda Golden’s widow, Nicola, and the couple’s three young children, told Judge Twomey that in the absence of expert reports being furnished to them by the State the family could face further stress.
Mr Coffey asked the court to direct that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohue furnish its expert reports to Ms Golden’s legal team which had already agreed to provide the State with what reports it had in its possession.
He said lack of an exchange of reports could mean that Ms Golden could face extended cross-examination during the trial. Ms Golden had been a State nurse with the HSE at the time and had not worked since the shooting of her husband.
“As a result of this tragedy she can no longer work and the trial would have to hear actuarial evidence of her loss of earnings as well as witnesses from her employers with regard to pension rights,” Mr Coffey said. He said there would be evidence from HSE with regard to whether or not an employee absent for a number of years would have to undergo re-training.
Joseph O’Sullivan, counsel for the Minister, said it may yet be possible to narrow outstanding issues between the parties and if this was achievable he felt the trial could possibly be dealt with in three days.
Mr Coffey said Garda Golden was 36 when he had been shot after responding to a domestic violence complaint in Omeath, Co Louth, on October 11, 2015. It is known that settlement talks between the Minister and lawyers for Ms Golden and her three children Andrew, Lucy and Alex, of Blackrock, Co Louth had broken down some time ago..
Garda Tony Golden was murdered just over three years ago when he was shot five times and killed in a murder-suicide attack while on duty at Omeath.
Garda Golden, in uniform and unarmed, who had accompanied Siobhan Philips (23) to the house she shared with her physically abusive partner Adrian Crevan Mackin, was brutally killed by Crevan Mackin, a known dissident Republican in the murder-suicide attack.
Crevan Mackin shot Garda Golden in the attack during which he also shot his partner Ms Philips four times, including one bullet to her head, before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life.
Mackin was a convicted criminal and had been charged with IRA membership months before his death and was on bail. He had previously been given a three-year suspended sentence on firearms charges in the North. Several inquiries were mounted into the murder-suicide and the gun attack on Ms Philips.
Ms Philips, who survived her injuries, is living in Co Down. She had two children by Mackin and has issued personal injury proceedings against the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, the Minister for Justice, Ireland and the Attorney General alleging negligence.
In the absence of a settlement in the application for compensation on behalf of the Golden family the distressed widow will have to undergo the further trauma of giving evidence to the High Court before Judge Twomey who deals with all garda compensation cases.
Judge Twomey said today he would not make an order directing the Minister to disclose expert reports but would consider the application again at a later date.