Sir, - I'm sure readers were horrified to learn recently that two nurses, working in an Accident and Emergency Department, were brutally assaulted by a patient. One of the nurses was close to being strangled and nearly lost consciousness.

Shortly after the above assault a report in your newspaper said a garda who had been attacked by a prisoner was awarded ú217,000 in damages.

Army personnel who claim hearing damage while on duty are currently having their cases heard in the courts. Prison officers injured on duty also have the same opportunities and facilities to claim damages.

Nurses who suffer injury while on duty, however, have no facilities to claim damages. This surely is gross discrimination against a group of loyal and dedicated public servants. Justice demands that arrangements be made immediately for the protection of nurses at work and, if they are unfortunate enough to be injured, they should have the same opportunities as the garda∅, prison officers and army personnel to claim damages. - Yours, etc., Tom O'Neill

Navan Road, Dublin 7.