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Aidan Flanagan
Aidan Flanagan
Image: © INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Garda and ex-Tipperary hurler who was seriously injured after assault awarded €1.16 million

Justice Bernard Barton had earlier awarded the 44-year-old €175,000 general damages.
Jul 30th 2018, 5:09 PM 40,404 0

Updated Jul 30th 2018, 5:45 PM

THE MINISTER FOR Finance has agreed to pay a garda and former captain of the Tipperary County Hurling team, Aidan Flanagan, €1.16 million for injuries he suffered when kicked in the back after making an arrest.

Justice Bernard Barton had earlier awarded 44-year-old Garda Flanagan part compensation of  €175,000 general damages and €45,000 for loss of opportunity.

He had adjourned ruling a final outcome pending a review of ongoing negotiations between Micheál O Scanaill, SC, counsel for the Minister, and barrister Alan Keating, counsel for Flanagan.

Toda, O Scanaill, who appeared with barrister Rebecca Graydon for the Minister, told Judge Barton that a consent order for €1.16 million could be made in Garda Flanagan’s favour.

The figure takes account of his past and present loss of earnings and a number of other considerations.

Keating had previously told the court that a payment of €125,000 had already been made to Garda Flanagan pending Judge Barton’s judgment and the ultimate settlement reached in negotiations.

Judge Barton in his earlier ruling following a garda compensation hearing in the High Court had stated that the ferocity of a blow Garda Flanagan had received to the base of his back had devastating consequences for him.

The judge said Garda Flanagan, of Middleton, Co Cork, had suffered the injury when he was only 30 years of age and had made a substantial €1.47 million claim for general damages and recurring pecuniary losses.

He had arrested a youth following a store burglary in which alcohol had been stolen.  The youth had consumed a bottle of vodka and a quantity of tablets just prior to his arrest.

While entering the back seat of a garda squad car to restrain the handcuffed teenager, the youth had directed a kick into the small of Garda Flanagan’s back, Judge Barton said.

Judge Barton said that over the years there had been a most serious and significant deterioration in Garda Flanagan’s physical and mental capacity as a result of ongoing chronic pain that he had felt he could no longer serve as a garda and had applied unsuccessfully to be retired on health grounds.

He said Garda Flanagan had grown up in Cashel, Co Tipperary, and had set out, following studies in University College, Galway, to carve out a career for himself in the gardaí in which he also had a serving brother and sister.

He had been a fit young man who had a passion for hurling, a sport in which he had excelled to the extent that he had played for Tipperary and had won an all-Ireland medal at Under 21 level before having been elevated to the senior panel and hurling for his county of which he was immensely proud.

Judge Barton said Garda Flanagan who, because of his injuries eventually faced financial embarrassment to the extent of attempts having been made to re-possess his home and having to be treated in St John of Gods in Dublin, had also excelled at golf and had acquired a handicap of nine.

Garda Flanagan had, on a number of occasions, sought to be allowed to retire on health grounds. One of the issues before the court had been the fact that he had, prior to the 2005 assault, suffered back injuries in a car accident and in a slip and fall. The degree of force used by his assailant had been controversial during a 15-day hearing of the case.

Judge Barton said Garda Flanagan’s pay had been reduced due to long absences from work to such an extent that he was unable to purchase the medication he required on a daily basis.  While he remained a member of the force he was what was known as temporary rehabilitation pay.

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