€1.16m Back Injury Compensation for Garda and former Tipperary Hurler

The Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe has approved paying €1.16m back injury compensation to a garda and former captain of the Tipperary county hurling team Aidan Flanagan for injuries he sustained when attacked during an arrest.

This follows the earlier decision by Mr Justice Bernard Barton to award the 44-year-old Garda part compensation of  €175,000 general damages and €45,000 for loss of opportunity. However he (Judge Barton) had adjourned ruling a final outcome pending a review of ongoing negotiations between Micheál Ó Scanaill, SC, counsel for the Minister, and barrister Alan Keating, counsel for Garda Flanagan.

Mr Ó Scanaill, who appeared with barrister Rebecca Graydon for the minister, told Judge Barton that a consent order for €1.16m, a figure takes account of his past and present loss of earnings and a number of other factors, could be made in Garda Flanagan’s favour.

In Judge Barton’s earlier ruling at a Garda Compensation hearing in the High Court, he referred to the strong force of a blow that Garda Flanagan had received to the base of his back and the devastating consequences he suffered. He added that Garda Flanagan had suffered the injury when he was only 30 years of age and had made a substantial €1.47m claim for general damages and recurring pecuniary losses.

The incident occurred when Garda Flanagan had arrested a youth following a store burglary in which alcohol had been stolen. The youth had drunk a bottle of vodka and taken a quantity of tablets before he was arrested.

The youth in question had directed a kick into the small of Garda Flanagan’s back when being placed in the back seat of a squad car to for purposes of restraint, Judge Barton said. He also commented on the serious and significant deterioration in Garda Flanagan’s physical and mental capacity as a result of ongoing chronic pain he suffered. Additionally he had felt he could no longer serve as a garda and had so far been denied to retire on health grounds.

Garda Flanagan acted as captain of the Tipperary senior county side in the National Hurling League in 1997.