A garda, whose forearm was injured by a colleague's tie pin as she assisted him in breaking up a fight, has been awarded €12,000 damages in a Garda compensation hearing in the High Court.
Barrister Maria Lane, counsel for Garda Nadine Keane, said that as she helped another garda restrain two men involved in a fight outside Ennis Courthouse, her colleague's tie pin caught her right forearm and caused her a serious injury.
Ms Lane, who appeared with O'Gorman Solicitors, told Ms Justice Mary Rose Gearty that Garda Keane had been taken to Ennis General Hospital after the incident and had her arm wound closed with 13 seri-strips.
Judge Gearty heard that Garda Keane had been left with a 6.5cm keloid scar on her forearm, which had caused her embarrassment for up to four years.
She had been seen by Mr Eoin O’Broin, consultant plastic reconstructive surgeon and anaesthetist in 2016, two years after the incident, and he had noted that the scar running down her forearm was thickened and red.
The specialist was of the view that the only treatment that might help reduce the colour of the scar was laser therapy.
Garda Keane had used bio oil to try to improve the appearance of the scar which was described as “relatively obvious and unsightly.”
The oil had very limited effect and Garda Keane was self-conscious of the appearance of the scar.
She had told Judge Gearty that on October 1st, 2014 she had attended at the local courthouse in Ennis, Co Clare, where she was stationed. An altercation broke out between two men and she had been detailed to assist a colleague in restraining them.
In the course of a struggle her right forearm had become caught in her colleague’s tie pin which had cut into her arm. Following treatment in hospital she had taken three days leave.
Judge Gearty said Garda Keane’s arm had been bleeding and she had felt faint before being taken to hospital, where the wound had been closed and no further treatment had been recommended.
“The scar was more ugly than one might anticipate and was red in colour and relatively obvious and unsightly,” Judge Gearty said.
Judge Gearty, in awarding her €12,000 damages, said Garda Keane had been injured in an ugly incident and the court was taking into consideration her embarrassment for up to four years.
“A forearm scar is obviously not equivalent to a facial scar and her injury is much less obvious now than it was for the first four years after the incident,” Judge Gearty said.