Garda Fintan Smith has been awarded €4,000 policeman injury compensation after being assaulted by his girlfriend’s brother while he was assisting in restraining him during the course of his work outside a Letterkenny nightclub.
Garda Smith advised High Court Judge Justice Michael Twomey that he was struck to the head by his now brother-in-law at first, resulting in a black eye and nose bleed. Not long after this he was again attacked by the same individual who, despite being restrained with handcuffs in the back of a garda car, managed to kick him to the head when he was sitting in the front passenger seat.
Judge Twomey was told that Garda Smith now has very little to do with this individual. He was invited to his wedding just this summer but was not in attendance on the day. Garda Smith does his best to avoid any family events if he is aware that his brother-in-law will be there. Despite this he maintains an excellent relationship with the other members of his wife’s family.
Ms Fiona Crawford, legal counsel for Garda Smith, told the court the Garda Smith had sustained a badly injured nose during the attack. However, she added that subsequent x-rays revealed, thankfully that he (Garda Smith) had not suffered a bone injury.
Garda Smith said in the High Court that he had suffered a serious amount of stress following the assault and it led to a considerable amount of tension between him and his partner, the sister of the assailant. He was absent from work for a period of one month after the attack as his came to terms with the embarrassment he was suffering from. He added that the attack had resulted in him feeling a lot of anger at how things had worked out.
Later, Garda Smith put in a request, which was eventually granted, to be transferred from Letterkenny to Ballybofey Garda Station.
Garda Smith, speaking in the High Court, advised Justice Twomey that his attacker was, at the time of the attack, a known troublemaker who did not hold any respect for the gardai.
Judge Twomey awarded €4,000 policeman workplace compensation to Garda Smith for the injuries he experienced while he was working.