A GARDA who suffered a back injury when his patrol car was rammed by a stolen car during a high-speed chase was yesterday awarded €789,000 by the High Court.
Noel Kevane (43) of Roscarberry, Cork, was injured in the crash in 1999 and has had " a torrid time to date", the judge said.
The father-of-three had a "spontaneous nervous breakdown" five years after the accident and was retired from the Garda in November 2009 due to depressive illness.
Mr Justice Hanna ruled Mr Kevane was injured in the line of duty during the 1999 high- speed chase and this was the cause of his later physical and mental difficulties.
He was, the judge said, entitled to be compensated under the Garda Compensation Act. He would probably have advanced further in the Garda and reached sergeant level. The award included €290,000 for loss of earnings to date and €100,000 in to the future as, the judge said, Mr Kevane will be able to work again. General damages were assessed at €100,000.
Mr Kevane who had been stationed in Cork city and later Dunmanaway station suffered a back injury in May 1999 when the stolen car gardai were in pursuit of rammed the garda car at Cahir, Co Tipperary.
In his action against the Minister for Finance, Mr Kevane claimed the patrol car had been rammed intentionally by the driver of the stolen car.
A separate case in relation Mr Kevane's departure from the force was settled with provision of a special pension.
The judge said the crash injuries had life-long implications for him with a promising career cut short.