A €290,000 work injury compensation settlement has been awarded to Sergeant Donal Cronin who sustained a knee injury during a violent struggle with a prisoner.
Garda Cronin (50) was unable to carry out full policing duties due to his knee injury and end up missing out on possible promotions due to this. The overall figure awarded to the garda was €286,630 due to incident that occurred when he was involved in the struggle that took place at Limerick Circuit Court on July 9, 2004.
The court was informed Sargeant Cronin had passed examinations required for promotion to the rank of inspector with distinction in 2001. Despite this he was overlooked in both rounds of promotion interview board competitions in 2010 and in 2014.
The court was informed that the Garda was eventually appointed to the role of court presenter. A position that he could carry out despite the difficulties he had due to the injuries he suffered in the struggle.
Sergeant Cronin’s legal representatives alleged that the basis for overlooking his promotion qualifications was the injuries. In addition to this they advised the Judge that he would probably need an operation for a knee replacement within the coming two years.
Among those who gave evidence was a retired chief superintendent said the score Sergeant Cronin had achieved from the interview board for promotion was excellent but the system was “unfit for purpose” as it did not make take into account when a candidate was suffering from a disability.
Refuting the claims on behalf the minister for finance and public expenditure, a sergeant garda said there was no solid reasoning to claim that the injuries suffered on duty were an obstacle to the promotion to the rank of inspector.
He went on to say that it was not uncommon for a candidate coming from an administrative post without major operational frontline experience to be appointed to the post of inspector and that said the promotion procedure was heavily regulated. The interview board could not see a candidate’s medical records as part of the process. He added that just four of 17 sergeants in the Limerick division were successful in their application for promotion to inspector, two of which were for administrative positions.
An estimated figure for Sergeants Cronin’s compensation including future loss of income due to missing out on promotion of €166,630 was provided to the court. In addition to this he was awarded him another €120,000 in general damages due to the serious injury his suffered to his left knee that resulted in physical disability and ongoing pain and discomfort.
Justice Bernard Barton said he was satisfied that if Sgt Cronin reapplied for promotion, his injuries would not be an impediment “to a successful outcome”.