Former Galway Hurler Garda Kevin Hooban, who was injured by a “getaway” car in July 2011 has been awarded €30,000 in compensation against the Minister for Public Expenditure.
Hooban, 33, of Looscaun, Woodford, Co Galway, told Justice Bernard Barton a car he and a colleague had attempted to stop had run over his left leg as the driver and a passenger attempted to get away.
Hooban told barrister Brid O’Flaherty that he and a colleague had seen a car strike a footpath and camera lamppost in Ennis, Co Clare, where he is stationed. As they approached the vehicle, shouting for the driver to stop, it had reversed into a jeep. He and his colleague stood in front of the vehicle and again called for the driver to stop.
The car, after having struck two other vehicles, had then been driven towards them and he had drawn his baton to break the windscreen. His baton had fallen and, as he sought to retrieve it, the car had driven over his left leg and ankle.
He told O’Flaherty he had been knocked onto the footpath and his leg became caught under the front passenger wheel. The car had revved up and driven off.
Hooban said he had been taken by ambulance to Ennis General Hospital where he had undergone x-rays on a crush injury. He had been given crutches and later had an MRI scan on his ankle and Achilles tendon.
He told Judge Barton his social, recreational and professional life had been adversely affected and he had been unable to resume playing for Tommy Larkin’s hurling club, of which he had been a member from the age of eight.
Despite doing his very best to recover in time for the knockout stages of the club championships before the end of 2011, he had been unable to do so, missing a championship game for the first time in 11 years playing with his senior club team.
Hooban said he had managed his injury through intense gym and exercise sessions on strengthening his ankle but had to fit in pre-training extra warm-up sessions.
He said he had represented Galway at every underage level and in 2009 was a member of the Galway and Connacht senior panels, and his ambition had been to return to the selection process on the Galway senior hurling panel.
“Although I am back playing senior club hurling I feel I have never returned to the same standard of hurling that I had reached before the July incident,” he told Judge Barton.
The garda told the court that only six months before his injury he had competed in the Gloucester marathon in England and had ambitions of continuing his road running interests but this had not been possible.
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