A BRAVE garda has spoken of the trauma of being left permanently scarred after being slashed in the face with a broken bottle.
Garda Jeffrey White (30), who is based at Kevin Street Garda Station, Dublin, told colleagues at the Garda Representatives Association (GRA) conference about the impact the attack has had on his life.
"I, for one, consider myself to be lucky; lucky in the sense that I escaped with my life as a result of a violent altercation when I was acting in the course of my duty serving the people of this State.
"There is not a day goes by that I don't think about the night I was attacked – the fear, the fright, the risk, the what if?"
The woman responsible for the attack was sentenced to five years in prison.
She assaulted Garda White and three others in a random attack with a broken, jagged vodka bottle.
Louise Byrne (39), formerly of Gardiner Street, in Dublin city centre, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the assault on November 13, 2006.
Byrne had trained as a nurse, but had lost her job through drinking.
The court heard that Byrne struck Garda White so hard with the bottle that she broke his nose and left him needing 28 external stitches, as well as internal stitches because the facial wound was so deep.
Byrne was "absolutely horrified" by her actions, which happened because she thought people were trying to kill her.
Before attacking Garda White, Byrne had bottled two women and a man.
At the GRA conference, Garda White called for the Government to introduce specific legislation to protect frontline emergency workers. The motion was unanimously passed by delegates.
Despite the attack, Garda White said he never considered quitting the force.
"I love my job and I am committed to providing the best possible service to the public I serve," he said.