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'psychological strain' Hero garda who left force after armed robbery awarded €150,000 damages

Garda Gavin Ryan suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following a raid in 2008

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Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds said former Garda Gavin Ryan (pictured) had shown considerable bravery and had been awarded the Scott Medal for bravery. Photo: Frank McGrath

Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds said former Garda Gavin Ryan (pictured) had shown considerable bravery and had been awarded the Scott Medal for bravery. Photo: Frank McGrath

Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds said former Garda Gavin Ryan (pictured) had shown considerable bravery and had been awarded the Scott Medal for bravery. Photo: Frank McGrath

A FORMER garda has been awarded damages of €150,000 for an incident that caused him such psychological strain that he had to quit the force.

Garda Gavin Ryan disarmed a man pointing a loaded shotgun at him during an armed robbery, but later suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mr Ryan, who is now aged 42, was stationed at Ballymun Garda Station in March 2008 when he was called to assist a colleague who was dealing with a hold-up at The Village Pub, Chapelizod, west Dublin.

The gunman pointed a loaded shotgun at Garda Ryan when he attempted to apprehend the gang on the premises. Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds, awarding him damages under the Garda Compensation Act, said Garda Ryan had shown considerable bravery and had been awarded the Scott Medal for bravery the following year.

The judge said Garda Ryan subsequently suffered PTSD arising from that and two other incidents – one, a needle-stick injury and a second when a bullet was put through the letterbox of his home.

Judge Reynolds said Garda Ryan had joined the force in 2000 but had been discharged on medical grounds in 2018 following the effects of the three incidents.

Following the bullet threat by an unknown person he feared for his family’s safety and moved in with his partner’s mother.

The court held that the health issues suffered by Garda Ryan stemmed from the traumatic events surrounding the armed robbery and were exacerbated by the needle-stick injury in November 2008 and the bullet threat in 2011.

Garda Ryan had suffered trauma and distress and despite having engaged well throughout intensive cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling, he had been medically discharged from his dream career in the force in 2018 following four years of long-term sick leave.

“He also suffered from the loss of a promising career with an Garda Síochána, a role which he had hoped to enjoy until retirement and this has understandably been a source of considerable regret and upset for him,” Judge Reynolds said.

Judge Reynolds awarded former Garda Ryan €100,000 in general damages for the injuries he suffered and awarded enhanced damages of €50,000 for loss of opportunity.

The award, with costs, was made against the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform under the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts.

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