€30,000 Garda Injury Compensation for Cut to Mouth

A garda has been awarded €30,000 compensation for an injury to his mouth that he suffered while attending to a reported incident at a house in Finglas.

The young garda, Sean Kelly (31), stated that he remains sensitive about a scar on his upper lip and told Mr Justice Bernard Barton he was still conscious of the star-shaped scar. However, he joked with the presiding judge that he might have to wear make-up when he gets married next weekend.

The incident occurred just under five years ago when he was on duty on 7th January 2012. Barrister Fiona Gallagher, counsel for Garda Kelly, told the High Court that Garda Kelly had been called to a house in Finglas to deal with a man who, had just been released from a psychiatric institution, and was threatening self harm.

Garda Kelly, who was accompanied by two colleagues, said the man, who had ingested large amounts of non-prescriptive medication, had locked himself in his bathroom. He was threatening to jump from the bathroom window. When they made efforts to apprehend the man he (Garda Kelly) was struck on his mouth with a toilet brush holder which lacerated his lip.

Garda Kelly told Ms Gallagher that this resulted in serious bleeding and he had to be taken to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown to be treat immediately. Here, on examination, a piece of porcelain was found to be still embedded in his upper lip. X-rays revealed he had not suffered any major fractures.

He had been given an anaesthetic injection and received seven stitches, several of them on the inside of his mouth. When the scar later became infected, he had been put on a course of antibiotics until the infection cleared up. He said he could still feel the inside scar with his tongue.  The scar on the outside of his lip was noticeable at conversational distance and he was still very conscious of it.

Counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure, Barrister Derek Ryan told the court that, based no conflicting medical reports, he did not think that Garda Kelly has suffered Post Traumatic Stress to the the extent that it warranted an exceptional compensation award.