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HSE worker tried to slash own throat in garda raid

A MAN who attempted to slash his own throat during a Garda raid linked to a €300,000 hospital fraud probe will be questioned once he is medically fit.

The revelation came as it emerged the actions of two brave gardai effectively saved the man's life after he first confronted officers and then attempted to harm himself during the Cork raid.

The middle-aged man -- who was rushed to hospital and is now out of danger -- confronted gardai after they went to examine documents and computer files as part of a fraud probe at a Cork hospital.

He first lunged at a garda -- and then slashed his wrists before attempting to cut his own throat.

Two gardai intervened and, with the use of pepper spray, managed to subdue the man and prevent him from inflicting fatal injuries to himself.

The investigation was launched following a formal complaint to gardai from the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The probe is focussed on the alleged use of fake invoices for services provided at the hospital dating back over a two-year period.

Search

Gardai went to a hospital administration building on foot of a search warrant and asked to examine documents, files and computers in a specific office.

They were suddenly confronted by the male employee who became extremely emotional and agitated.

The man grabbed a knife and gardai immediately withdrew from the office and alerted the armed Regional Support Unit (RSU).

As the RSU members arrived at the scene, the man suddenly reversed the knife and cut his wrists before attempting to slash his own throat.

However, two gardai courageously intervened and prevented the man from inflicting fatal injuries.

He was rushed to another hospital and treated for slash-type injuries to his neck.

The man -- who lives in Cork city -- has not been arrested though one garda source said that he is expected to be questioned once he is discharged and deemed medically fit to do so.

The garda probe follows HSE concerns over an audit conducted at the facility involved.

It highlighted suspected irregularities with regard to large payments to a supply company.

hnews@herald.ie