a Detective garda who showed "incredible bravery" after he had a loaded gun pointed at him during a bank robbery eight-and-a-half years ago has been awarded almost €70,000 damages in the High Court.
Mr Justice Bernard Barton said Gda Robert Reilly had acted with courage during a totally frightening experience as he went on with his duty and confronted the two heavily-disguised armed robbers who were leaving the bank.
Judge Barton said that on June 3, 2006, Gda Reilly had answered a radio call for assistance after a member of the public reported that a bank robbery was taking place at the AIB branch in Crumlin, Dublin.
The judge said during a Garda Compensation hearing that Gda Reilly followed the robbers, Darren Hamill and John Foy, to a nearby car park as they tried to escape in a car.
The officer, who was armed, had stopped a couple of metres from the robbers' car and asked them to drop their guns. The man in the passenger seat had got out and threatened to shoot Gda Reilly, with an address in Dublin.
The judge said Gda Reilly, who believed his life was at risk as the man was still pointing the gun at him, dived for cover and fired a shot, lodging a bullet in one of the car doors.
Reinforcement officers had arrived and the men were eventually taken into custody and later arrested.
Judge Barton said that Gda Reilly had relived the incident on numerous occasions as he had had to attend court hearings when the men were applying for bail.
The officer, who had later started to "ruminate" on the incident, had developed post-traumatic stress disorder for which he had needed counselling and medication.
His condition has since improved.
Judge Barton said that Gda Reilly, who has qualified for a law degree since the incident, had been promoted this year and was hoping to become an inspector in the coming years.
The judge, in awarding him €68,636 damages, said Gda Reilly had learned that a decoration for bravery had been recommended but he had never received any formal award.