Former garda awarded €150,000 in PTSD case

Gavin Ryan disarmed man pointing loaded shotgun at him during raid on pub

Awarding the former garda damages of €150,000, Ms Justice Leoni Reynolds, said Mr Gavin Ryan had shown considerable bravery for which he had been awarded the Scott Medal

Awarding the former garda damages of €150,000, Ms Justice Leoni Reynolds, said Mr Gavin Ryan had shown considerable bravery for which he had been awarded the Scott Medal

 

A former garda, who disarmed a man pointing a loaded shotgun at him during an armed robbery but later had to quit a career in the force due to psychological injury arising from the incident, has been awarded damages of €150,000.

Garda Gavin Ryan, who is now aged 42, was stationed at Ballymun Garda station in March 2008 when he was called to assist a colleague who was dealing with a hold-up at The Village Pub, Chapelizod, West Dublin.

The gunman pointed a loaded shotgun at Garda Ryan when he attempted to apprehend the gang still on the premises. Ms Justice Leoni Reynolds, awarding him damages under the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Act, said Garda Ryan had shown considerable bravery for which he had been awarded the Scott Medal the following year.

The judge said Garda Ryan subsequently suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arising from the gun and two other incidents. The first was a needle-stick injury, the second involved a bullet being put through the letterbox of his home.

Judge Reynolds said Garda Ryan had joined the force in 2000 but had been discharged on medical grounds in 2018 following the effects of the three incidents. Following the bullet threat by an unknown person, he had feared for his family’s safety and moved in with his partner’s mother.

The court held that the health issues suffered by Garda Ryan stemmed from the traumatic events surrounding the armed robbery and were exacerbated by the needle-stick injury in November 2008 and the bullet threat in 2011.

Garda Ryan had suffered trauma and distress and despite having engaged well throughout intensive cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling had been medically discharged from his dream career in the force in 2018 following four years of long term sick leave.

“He also suffered from the loss of a promising career with an Garda Síochána, a role which he had hoped to enjoy until retirement and this has understandably been a source of considerable regret and upset for him,” Judge Reynolds said.

Judge Reynolds awarded former Garda Ryan €100,000 in general damages for the injuries he suffered and awarded enhanced damages of €50,000 for loss of opportunity.

The award, with costs, was made against the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform under the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Act.