Ex-garda awarded €43,000 for injury on duty to fly fishing arm


A FORMER garda and keen angler who said the arm he used for fly-fishing was seriously hurt in a scuffle with revellers in Co Cork has been awarded damages of more than €43,000 in the High Court.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said James Moynihan also continued to suffer shoulder pain during wet or cold spells and was unable to raise his arm above his head since sustaining an injury while attempting to make an arrest in 2006.

Mr Moynihan, of Buttevant, Co Cork, retired from the Garda in 2008 and now drives a minibus for a local clinic. He told a Garda compensation hearing his shoulder had been wrenched when his right arm was swung back over his head by the man he was attempting to restrain. He said he was on duty in Charleville, Co Cork, on February 26th, 2006, when, shortly after 2am, he and a colleague attempted to move on a group of rowdy youths outside a disco.

He had gone to his colleague’s assistance and was holding one youth by the arm when the youth attempted to head-butt him. As he stepped backwards to avoid the blow, the youth forced his arm back over his right shoulder.

Mr Moynihan said he had been transferred to clerical duties until his retirement in 2008, after which he had taken up a part-time job driving patients with mental disabilities to and from a local clinic.

He said he had been a keen fly fisherman and would fish up to four times a week prior to his injury. “I found I was unable to cast the fly with my right arm and had to train myself to do it with my left. I cannot properly control the line or the fly and I haven’t gone fishing as often,” he told the court.

Mr Justice Gilligan, awarding Mr Moynihan €30,000 general damages and €13,229 special damages for hospital and other expenses, said the former garda had presented his symptoms very reasonably.