Gardaí in Waterford suffered most injuries on duty in 2020

County had 24 of the 199 assault injuries across the force, according to Garda figures

Almost 200 gardaí suffered injuries on duty last year with nearly one in eight cases taking place in a single county.

The level of injury among officers based in Waterford was far above other divisions with 24 of the 199 occupational assault injuries there in 2020.

Full-year figures from gardaí reveal there were 91 cases where police suffered “bruising/grazes/or bites”. Another ten officers suffered a “closed fracture”, while five gardaí endured a painful dislocation during an assault while on duty.

There were two cases where a garda contracted an infection, according to the data, although no detail is provided on whether that was Covid-19.

Fifteen cases of “open wounds” were also disclosed in the figures. Gardaí reported a single case of “serious multiple injuries”, while 37 cases were classified as “other” with no further information available.

Of the 199 total cases, there were also 38 “sprains or strains”, according to a database of incidents released under FOI.

While Waterford recorded the highest number of occupational injuries, there were significant numbers of injuries recorded in other divisions as well.

In Laois/Offaly, 16 injuries suffered during an assault were listed, while in Galway, there were 15 cases. Two Dublin divisions – DMR North Central and DMR North - recorded 12 and 11 cases, respectively.

The fewest injuries were recorded in Clare, Kildare, and Louth with three cases in each area.

There were 13 cases recorded in Cork, with nine in the Cork City division and four in Cork West.

The number of assaults was significantly down from 2019 when 265 cases were recorded and 2018 when there were 223.

In an information note, the gardaí said: “An Garda Síochí¡na is very mindful to the significant occupational demands placed on its members and the exposure to very stressful and traumatic situations.

“Critical support is provided by the Chief Medical Officer, the Employee Assistance Service, the Peer Support Network and counselling services.”

Every garda injured while on duty is entitled to make a claim under the Garda Compensation Scheme.

Figures for 2020 show there were 116 cases taken under the Garda Compensation Act with another 2,075 under the Occupational Injuries Scheme.

Last year, a total of €2.71 million was awarded in cases taken under the Garda Compensation Act with a further €1.86 million incurred in costs. Payments linked to the Occupational Injuries Scheme came to just €85,238.