Former Garda Awarded €40,000 for Injuries Sustained While Apprehending a Thief

A former Garda has been awarded €40,000 in Garda
compensation for injuries he sustained while trying to apprehend a motorbike
thief in July 2001. Eamonn Fitzgerald, from Cork, told Ms Justice Mary Irvine
that the court that he and a colleague were attempting to apprehend the thief,
who had pinned Eammon’s colleague to the floor. After trying to pull their thief
away, Fitzgerald was tossed down some concrete steps. After landing awkwardly,
the Garda had to spend six weeks in hospital recovering from his injuries.

The damages will be paid by the Minister for Finance.

Soldier Widow Awarded €100,000 from State

The widow of a peace-keeping soldier has been awarded
€100,000 for the loss of her husband, who died more than 20
years ago while serving overseas. Private Maddix Armstrong (26) was killed by a
landmine while on patrol near the town of Brashit in Lebanon on March 21. 1989

Maddix’s widow, Grainne, alleged that the State had failed
in its responsibility to take all reasonable precautions to ensure her husband’s
safety. She took action against the State and the Minister for Defence. Grainne
alleged that Maddix was told to travel by truck into an area with an
ever-present danger of landmines without remote-sensing equipment and with no
prior search of the area carried out.

Defence Minister Alan Shatter later announced that a review
in Maddix’s death, and the two soldiers he was with at the time, would be
carried out.

Garda Awarded €100,000 for Stab Wound

A Garda Sergeant has been awarded €100,000 in compensation
for physical and psychological injuries he sustained while trying to subdue a
knife-wielding man in Fermoy, Co Cork, on New Years’ Eve 2006. Sergeant John
Liston of Mallow, Co Cork, had earlier in the night been involved in a
light-hearted conversation with the man, whose father was known to him.

Although the earlier conversation had passed off without
incident, the man later pulled out knives from under his coat after being
refused entry to a local nightclub. Sergeant Liston was stabbed in the side and
had to undergo surgery on his wounds.

It was later discovered that the man who had stabbed Sgt
Liston later turned his knives on himself, committing suicide.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine awarded Sgt Liston €100,000 in general
damages compensation, and a further €6,400 to address his costs.

Truck Driver Receives €80,000 for Facial Injury

A truck driver from Kildare has been awarded €80,000 compensation for serious facial injuries he received after being struck by a steel wedge. Thirty-eight-year-old
Keith Dowling was nearly decapitated by the wedge, Mr Justice John McMenamin heard.
The wedge, which was being used to secure the ballast weight to the trailer at
the time it detached, caused permanent damage to Mr Dowling’s face. It was being hammered into place by a co-worker when it happened.

Farm Fatalities Up More than 100% in 2010

Irish farm fatalities more than doubled in 2010, a report released
by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has revealed. 25 farmers died while
tending to their farms in 2010, a 127% increase on the 11 who died in 2009.

“Farming is a difficult and challenging occupation, may
involved are self-employed and the pressures that farmers are under cans be
intense at times. However, the fact is that the types of farm accidents that
are causing deaths and serious accidents, such as those involving livestock and
machinery, can be prevented,” commented Martin O’Halloran, chief executive of
the HSA.

O’Halloran also urged farmers to follow the example set in
the construction industry, which has seen a substantial drop in fatal accidents
in recent years. He attributed this turn around to everyone “buying in” to
health and safety.

Garda Claimants Shared €12m in Compensation in 2009

Garda claimants around Ireland shared €12m in compensation in
2009, newly released figures have revealed. The claims, made under the Garda
Siochana Compensation Acts covered both Garda who pursued compensation, and
civilians who were injured on Garda property, who are also entitled to claim
under the act. The highest award paid out was €132,000.

Over €3m was paid for accidents involving Garda squad cars,
the Controller and Auditor General has said. Payments ranged from €2 to
€250,000 and were made in 230 cases resulting from 532 accidents.

Waterford Teenager Awarded €1.28m for Lost Leg

A teenager from Co Waterford has been awarded €1.28m in
damages for an accident on a farm in April 2001. TJ Kearns, who had been
working for John Joe Flynn, Eugene Flynn and Gerald Flynn at the time, lost a
leg in the accident, which happened after he became entangled in a power seed
sowing machine. The tractor pulling the machine was being driven by an adult.

TJ Kearns sued through his father, Tom. As is common in workplace
compensation claims, the defendants admitted liability.

Speaking while approving the settlement, Mr Justice John
Quirke said that no amount of money could compensate TJ for what happened. TJ now
uses as artificial leg.