Garda shot in US under investigation for alleged assault on two women

NewsBy Sunday World
Garda Brian Hanrahan
Garda Brian Hanrahan

An investigation is taking place into allegations that a garda who was shot while on holidays in the US last year assaulted two women in Ireland.

Gardai are investigating after the women alleged that they were struck by the garda during a night out in Co Tipperary.

The assault complaint has been made against Garda Brian Hanrahan (34), who has not been suspended from duty and continues to work at Newcastle West Station in Co Limerick.

It has been alleged that the women suffered facial injuries following an argument between them and the garda when they gave him a lift home in Nenagh in February.

Gardai are investigating if the alleged assaults happened outside the vehicle when the women ordered Gda Hanrahan to leave their car following the argument.

One of the woman is alleged to have suffered mire serious injuries than the other.

Gda Hanrahan was shot in New Orleans last year and members of the public on both sides of the Atlantic raised funds for him following the shooting.

He was not on duty at the time of the alleged assault and gardai in north Tipperary were notified of the allegations by the two women who made statements.

It is understood that Gda Hanrahan has not been arrested but that the investigation into the allegations is at an advanced stage.

If arrested, Gda Hanrahan is likely to be suspended from duty.

The matter is being probed by gardai in Tipperary.

It is believed that the Garda Siochana Ombudsman (GSOC) are not investigating.

When contacted by the Herald, a spokeswoman for GSOC said she could not comment on individual cases.

"GSOC did not receive a referral under section 102(1) from the Garda Siochana for independent investigation of that matter. It may not have reached the threshold of death or serious harm set out in the Act," she said.

"Members of the public are entitled to complain about the behaviour of a Garda member either to GSOC, or directly to the Garda Siochana asking them to investigate it themselves," GSOC added in a statement issued to the Herald.

Gda Hanrahan was previously the subject of a GSOC investigation and was charged with assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Newcastle West in October, 2009.

However he was cleared of the charges at Newcastle West District Court in June, 2011.

Since his return to work after being shot in New Orleans, Gda Hanrahan has been involved in a number of garda operations.

In April of this year, he was one of 20 gardai who responded to violent clashes at a Traveller suicide awareness meeting at the Rathkeale House Hotel.

Gda Hanrahan was previously a lead investigator in a child pornography case in which a Cork man was caught with 35 images and 72 video files.

In June of this year, Gda Hanrahan was awarded more than €36,000 compensation for injuries he suffered while chasing criminals almost six years ago.

His neck, shoulder and lower back were injured in October 2010 when a garda car in which he was a front-seat passenger was rammed following a car chase on the Limerick-Mallow road.

In the High Court in Dublin on June 27, barrister Michael P Binchy told Mr Justice Bernard Barton that Gda Hanrahan was in a garda car chasing a stolen vehicle when it was rammed. He suffered pain in his shoulder, neck and back.

In evidence, Gda Hanrahan said following the Limerick incident he initially felt no pain, but after the effects of adrenalin had worn off he felt pain in his neck, shoulder and particularly in his lower back.

He had been treated with analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication. Later an MRI scan revealed he suffered soft tissue injuries.

Although his shoulder and neck injuries cleared up, the pain in his back remained.

The former hurler and footballer retired from his favourite sports less than a year after the ramming incident, but told the court he had been approaching the end of his sporting career anyway.

He was out of work for more than two months before initially returning to light duties.