Co Tipp Garda Awarded Damages For HIV Threat

GardaAn on duty member of An Garda Síochána, who claimed that a man deliberately spat blood and saliva into his face threatening to infect him with HIV, has been awarded €100,000 damages under the Garda Compensation Act. (Report

Garda John McDonnell, aged 50, had been assaulted in November 2007 while attempting to arrest a man, involved in a breach of the peace, at Cashel Place, Cashel, South Tipperary. The Garda had sought compensation for anxiety and distress he allegedly suffered regarding fear of potential HIV and Hepatitis C infection and for bruising injuries received to his neck, back and arms, obtained during this incident.

In a reserved judgement Justice Mary Irvine stated it was unusual that the Garda victim had not immediately wiped the blood and saliva off his face, when in fear of contracting possible infections, but had instead returned to Cashel Garda Station where a colleague had taken photographs of facial blood spittle, prior to it being then washed off. Garda McDonnell’s assailant did not have HIV or Hepatitis C up to two weeks after the assault.

Justice Mary Irvine took into account Garda McDonnell’s significant history of back problems, which he had incurred during an assault while on duty in 1998, and for which he had previously been awarded €40,000 under the Garda Compensation Act.

The judge accepted his claim for loss of earnings and awarded €65,000 damages for personal injury; €31,000 for reduced past and future loss of earnings and gratuity up to the age of 55, plus €4,000 in special damages.


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