Laois-Offaly Garda challenges decision barring him for seeking compensation for injuries

The garda was assaulted in a botched burglary

Aodhan O'Faolain

Reporter:

Aodhan O'Faolain

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

A Garda from the Laois/Offaly Division who suffered serious eye and other injuries when burglars broke into his father in law's home and stabbed him has challenged the Minister for Justice's refusal to let him pursue a compensation claim. 

Garda Paul Leavy, who is based at Portlaoise Garda Station, represented by Kieran Kelly Bl, sustained the injuries after he was viciously assaulted on December 8, 2012, after two men twice entered a house in Tallaght where he had been staying. He was stationed in Dublin at the time.

Arising out of his injuries he made an application for compensation to the Minister for Justice.  

However his application was refused by the Minister because the injuries sustained by the Garda, who was was off duty at the time, were not maliciously or recklessly inflicted. 

Garda Leavy's lawyers say the Minister's decision should be overturned on the grounds it flies in the face of common sense and is perverse. 

He also claims the Minister's refusal is not factually sustainable or reasonable, and is in breach of fair procedures.

The court heard that on the night he was attacked the raiders broke into his father-in-law's home, entered the room where he was sleeping attacked him and  forced him to hand over money which was in his Garda uniform.

His garda uniform was clearly visible to them.  

The raiders initially left the house with the intention of stealing the Garda's car. 

However they returned with the clear intention of assaulting the Garda, who was stationed in Dublin at the time, because he was a member of An Garda Siochana, it is claimed. 

Garda Leavy sustained several serious injuries including stab wounds to his eye, shoulder, hand and chest. 

He applied for compensation under the Garda Compensation Acts, which last October was refused.  

Arising out of the refusal Garda Leavy who is now based at Portlaoise Garda Station, has brought a High Court challenge aimed at quashing the Minister's refusal allowing him seek compensation under the Garda Siochana Atcs.

In his judicial review proceedings Garda Leavy also seeks a declaration that the Minister and the Oireachtas cannot constitutionally prevent him access to the courts in the manner it has purported done. 

Permission to bring the challenge was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan. The Judge made the matter returnable to a date in April.  

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