A garda, whose nose was busted while attempting to restrain a man who had assaulted his sister on Christmas night more than four years ago, has been awarded more than €27,000 compensation against the Minister for Public Expenditure.
Garda Paul O’Shea, of Mallow Garda Station, Co Cork, told Ms Justice Siobhan Stack in the High Court that he and a colleague had been called to a disturbance in a family home in Mallow on Christmas night 2017.
On arrival, he had found a woman with a head injury and had been told her brother had hit her. Her brother was being restrained by their father at the time and he and his colleague had succeeded in separating them.
Garda O’Shea told the court the brother had been highly intoxicated and very abusive and stated that he had taken drugs.
Having momentarily turned away from the brother he turned back to speak to him and saw that he had his head arched back a split second before he head-butted him on the bridge of his nose.
Barrister Francis McGagh, who appeared with Keira O’Reilly of Keans Solicitors, told Ms Justice Stack that Garda O’Shea heard a loud crack as his nose was broken followed by significant bleeding.
He said it had taken several gardaí to overpower Garda O’Shea’s assailant and take him into custody.
Garda O’Shea said that as a result of what he described as “an unprovoked, cowardly and malicious assault” he had suffered a concussion as well as a displaced fracture and for some time after the attack had suffered blindingly painful but brief shooting headaches.
The garda told the court in an affidavit that following treatment in hospital he had been advised by a consultant to wait two years for his nose to heal before making any decision with regard to corrective surgery.
Judge Stack awarded Garda O’Shea €22,000 compensation for the nose fracture and resulting scar with a further €2,000 for the concussion and shooting headaches as well as €3,000 for “the ugliness” of the incident.