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Sunday 19 November 2017

€50k compo for 'courageous garda' who was hit in face

Garda Caroline Flynn
Garda Caroline Flynn

A High Court judge has praised the courage of a young garda who was assaulted during a drugs crackdown.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton awarded Garda Caroline Flynn more than €50,000 compensation for her injuries.

The court was told that Gda Flynn had been part of an Operation Anvil exercise against suspected drug pushers in the Ronanstown-Clondalkin area of Co Dublin in 2011 when she was assaulted.

While searching a man, she was hit in the face. Despite bleeding from the mouth, she and another garda pursued and arrested her attacker.

"Her actions are indicative of the way in which the vast majority of gardai carry out their duties," said Judge Barton.

"This case speaks out about the dedication of gardai and the risks they face."

Barrister John Hayden, who appeared for Gda Flynn, told the court she had been searching a suspect when he "whacked" her in the face and ran off.

Judge Barton said Gda Flynn, injured and bleeding, could easily have decided to do nothing. Instead, she chose to give chase.

Risk

As a result of the blow, Gda Flynn was left with damage to a nerve in a tooth that sent pain shooting up into her cheek.

She could no longer take a very cold or hot drink without risking pain that could last up to four hours.

Gda Flynn, who returned to work after the attack, told the court she had benefited from electrical stimulation of the nerve in 2012 but was told she may require future treatment under sedation.

"If she doesn't take precautions there is an ongoing risk that the pain could return at any time," said Judge Barton.

He awarded Gda Flynn €35,000 damages for pain and suffering to date and a further €15,000 for pain in the future.

He awarded her €3,189 for expenses to date, bringing the total award to €53,189 against the Minister for Public Expenditure on the basis that the injuries and assault had been caused maliciously to her in the course of her duty.

He said if a future stimulation procedure was necessary, the €2,000 cost should be borne by the State.

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