herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Anti terror garda who sued over Uzi trip-up

CASH: But garda wins claim against taximan

A GARDA hotshot lost a €38,000 damages claim when he fell on his Uzi during an exercise.

Special Branch detective David Kelly said he injured his back when he fell on his Uzi sub-machinegun which had been slung across his shoulder. But Kelly won €23,500 damages in a claim against taximan Peter Kavanagh, of Ratoath Road, Cabra, Dublin, for injuries he suffered when Kavanagh's taxi collided with a garda car in which he was a passenger.



Slipped

Barrister David Burke, for Kelly, told Circuit Court Judge Matthew Deery that in the 2005 shooting range incident, the detective had slipped on wet railway sleepers on the Kilbride, Co Wicklow, army range.

Kelly (42) is attached to the Special Branch which is the force's anti-terrorist unit. An expert described the garda as a "marksman." Kelly said that having fired the sub-machinegun he was walking to pick up a handgun and ammunition when he fell.

He said the force of his fall had broken the Uzi. At the time he had not made an issue of it as he had felt embarrassed and continued handgun practice.

When cross-examined for the State Claims Agency, Kelly said he could not recall the instructor warning officers to avoid the wet sleepers.

He agreed that following his fall he had finished top of the class.

Having heard both cases in tandem to determine if his injuries overlapped, the judge said Det Kelly had failed to establish negligence against the State.

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