Ex-garda who was stabbed repeatedly wins ‘record’ damages.
Daryl Mullen awarded €1.1m after being seriously injured during drugs search
Thu, May 12, 2016
Daryl Mullen: The former Garda suffered a vicious assault seven years ago while on duty in Westport
A young member of the Garda drugs squad who was repeatedly stabbed and seriously injured during a search has been awarded what is believed to be a record €1.1 million in damages in the High Court.
In his judgment, Mr Justice Bernard Barton said former garda Daryl Mullen had suffered serious physical injuries in the incident.
The judge said the 38-year-old, of Letterkenny, Co Donegal, had suffered a vicious assault seven years ago while on duty in James Street, Westport, Co Mayo.
The judge said, in this Garda compensation case, he was awarding Mr Mullen €1,093,179.
He told Eoin McCullough SC, who appeared with barrister Pat Purcell for Mr Mullen, that he was awarding €400,000 general damages, €300,000 special damages, and €348,179 for loss of earnings, pension and gratuity.
Liam Guidera, for Mr Mullen, said after the judgment that he believed the award was a record in the area of Garda compensation.
The judge said that in August 2009 the then 32-year-old garda, formerly from Tuam, Co Galway, was on plain-clothes duty with a unit of the drugs squad during a street festival in Westport.
Mr Mullen had been carrying out searches for illicit drugs at the festival.
As he confronted a group acting suspiciously, one of them produced a knife, “which he drove into the left side of Garda Mullen’s abdomen”.
The judge said the assailant, who had later been charged and jailed, had repeatedly stabbed Mr Mullen, causing what he described as “horrific internal injuries”.
Mr Mullen had bled profusely and was rushed to the operating theatre of Mayo General Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.
Afterwards he had been in the intensive care unit for a week.
He had suffered serious injuries to his groin, stomach and lungs, and later developed MRSA during ongoing treatment in University College Hospital, Galway.
The judge said that following further surgery, Mr Mullen had suffered psychological consequences, and he never again obtained a fitness certificate to return to work. He was then discharged on the grounds of ill health.
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