Garda resolves court challenge over Commissioner's decision on injury claim

ireland
Garda Resolves Court Challenge Over Commissioner's Decision On Injury Claim Garda Resolves Court Challenge Over Commissioner's Decision On Injury Claim
The Garda, who worked in the Co Kildare Division, claims his injuries relate to his work investigating criminal gangs
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Aodhan O'Faolain

A detective has resolved his High Court challenge against the Garda Commissioner's refusal to deem the Garda as being injured on duty.

The action was brought by Detective Garda Aidan Bracken, who has been unable to work since 2015 due to psychiatric injuries, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he claims were sustained in the course of performing his duties.

As a result of the settlement the Commissioner's decision has been quashed and the detective's claim to have sustained his injuries while on duty is to undergo a fresh medical assessment.

The Garda, who worked in the Co Kildare Division, claims his injuries relate to his work investigating criminal gangs.

His work resulted in several gang members being convicted and jailed.

Mental health

However serious and credible threats were made to his life by criminals.

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This severely affected his mental health and he was diagnosed as suffering from conditions including PTSD.

Last November Garda Bracken, who has over 20 years of service, was informed that the Garda Commissioner deemed that he was not injured on duty and classified him as having an ordinary illness.

The Garda claimed the Commissioner's decision was flawed, breached fair procedures because, was discriminatory, and that his injury claim had not been properly assessed.

He also claimed that there had been a prejudicial delay by the Commissioner in making the determination.

The Garda had in applied in 2017 to be classified as injured on duty, having been unable to work since late 2015.

Entitlements

The decision, it was claimed, had a severe impact on Garda Bracken's entitlement to sick pay and benefits and his ability to pay basic bills.

As a result of the decision, he brought High Court judicial review proceedings, claiming that the Commissioner's decision was flawed and should be set aside.

The Commissioner denied the claims and in a statement of opposition argued that the decision in relation to Garda Bracken should stand.

The action was listed for hearing before Mr Justice Charles Meenan on Tuesday.

Following out of court talks between the parties, it was agreed that Garda Bracken was entitled to various orders.

Assessment

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John Kennedy SC, with Rory Kennedy Bl instructed by solicitor Eoin Powderly for Garda Bracken said it was agreed his client was entitled to various orders including one quashing the decision to classify his injuries as an ordinary illness.

The court also made an order that the Garda was to undergo an assessment by the Chief Medical Officer.

The Garda will also continue to be paid a Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration, until matters have been finally determined.

Aillil O'Reilly Bl for the Commissioner said his side was consenting to those orders.

The judge welcomed the settlement, and praised the legal representatives of both sides for bringing the case to a resolution.

The matter will return before the court in October.

Proceedings

The action was one of several High Court proceedings brought by the Detective against the Commissioner.

Last year in one such action the High Court quashed a decision by the Commissioner to dismiss him from An Garda Siochana arising out of the detective's prosecution before the Circuit Court for making a false report.

Garda Bracken made a report about threats made against him, his colleagues and his family when he had been suffering from mental health issues. In addition, he had been informed by his superiors that his life was at risk.

The High Court held that the decision to summarily dismiss Garda Bracken was wrong, on grounds including that the Garda did not get a criminal conviction from the circuit court, and set the decision to dismiss the detective aside.

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