A €38,500 attack at work compensation award has been approved for a garda who was knocked out in a savage attack by a gang of thugs and left with significant injuries.
At the High Court today Judge Justice Tony O’Connor was informed that Detective Garda Brian Dunne was able to save a dislodged tooth by pushing it back up into his gum after he regained consciousness following the attack.
Garda Dunne told the Judge he will always carry the the pain of pushing his upper right front tooth back into his gum socket with him. He added that he was told by a dental consultant that this course of action saved his tooth.
The High Court was told that that attack happened prior to Christmas 2006 when the uniformed community garda, who was working out of Ballymun Garda Station, had been attacked by a group of six young men as they were going to a party.
Judge O’Connor said that the group in question could only be labelled as ‘thugs’ who had carried out a savage assault on Garda Dunne. The judge was told that the garda had been punched, pushed to the ground, and had a bottle smashed into his face. After this he had been kicked repeatedly in the head and body until he eventually was knocked out.
Co-workers of Detective Garda Dunne rushed to the scene and then brought him to the Mater Hospital by ambulance. Here he had his injuries treated. Garda Dunne stated: “I suffered a very bad gash to my mouth and to the back of my head and I learned that some of my teeth had been pushed backwards. At the scene when I recovered I had pushed a dislodged front tooth back into my gum. Another one of my teeth had been broken.”
He informed the court his underwent a procedure that included four stitches to one side of his mouth and five to the opposite side. On the interior of his mouth he had 14 stitches inserted. The gash on the back of his head had been repaired using glue.
In relation to the pain that he experienced, Detective Garda Dunne said his teeth had been very painful and he had to undergo root canal work. In addition to this, his body was bruised and he had a shoulder injury. After this he was required to attend review appointments over the course of the following five years. These reviews indicated that that the dislodged tooth had never fully recovered its original position after the assault.
Garda Dunner informed the Court that he had missed work for about six weeks following the attack. He said that he went back to work very quickly as he was due for promotion to detective. He now believes he had probably returned to work ‘too early’.
Legal counsel for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform barrister Joseph O’Sullivan was told by Detective Garda Dunne that he resumed full duties within three months of the incident occurring. His recovery has been good and he has is once again playing football for his local club, though he still suffers from an occasional niggle him while exerting himself physically.