Garda gets €80k after beating from 'semi-naked man'
A 58-year-old retired garda, who feared for his life when he was assaulted and dragged towards a river by an "enormous, semi-naked" man, has been awarded €80,000 compensation in the High Court.
Ms Justice Carmel Stewart said during a Garda Compensation hearing that former Garda Michael Power had been left with physical and psychological injuries following the assault in Cahir, Co Tipperary, on August 30, 2002.
Gda Power had told the court that he had been patrolling in a garda car with colleague Gda Tom Kelly that night, when they received a call about a semi-naked man acting violently in the town. The court heard that the man had damaged a number of vehicles by putting his fists through car windows.
Gda Power, of Mitchelstown Road, Cahir, told his barrister that he and Gda Kelly eventually came across the man, who was wearing only boxer shorts.
He said the man, who was "dripping wet from head to toe", smiled at them and dropped his boxer shorts.
Garda Kelly ordered him to pull up his shorts.
When the two gardai arrested the man, he started to throw punches at Gda Kelly.
Gda Kelly, in defending himself, had tackled the man, who was 6 feet 5 inches and "weighed 19 stones of pure muscle", pulling him to the ground.
Power, a karate expert who had been involved in martial arts competitions for more than 20 years, told Mr Dockrell that he went to assist Gda Kelly, but had difficulty in controlling what he described as the enormous man.
The judge was told that the man had managed to grab Gda Power by the head and carried him "like a dishcloth" over his shoulder, before throwing him to the ground and dragging him by his right leg towards a nearby river.
Power said that it took two further gardai to eventually restrain and handcuff the man, who was not identified in court. The court was also not told about what action gardai ultimately took against the man.
Mr Dockrell said his client had suffered a soft-tissue injury to his lower back which had required several months off work.
He had later developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Power said he had lost confidence after the incident and had to give up karate.