An Garda Síochána – Injury Claims
Members of An Garda Síochána who have sustained an injury during the course of their duties may be entitled to bring forward a claim. They may also be entitled to bring a claim forward if they are injured while not on duty.
Time Limits Within Which to Lodge a Claim
Under the 1941/1945 Acts the time limit for a member of An Garda Siochana bringing a claim is three months. The Minister for Justice and Equality and Defence (Minister) has discretion to increase this time limit, however, the cases in which the Minister may use this discretion is not set out in the Acts and it is therefore preferable to have a claim submitted within the three month timeframe.
Eligibility for Bringing a Claim Forward: It is not sufficient for a member of An Garda Siochana to show that they have sustained an injury, they must also prove that the injury was Serious in nature and Maliciously inflicted.
The Process of Lodging a Claim
Permission to bring claim forward
In order to bring a claim forward, the member must obtain permission from the Minister. This permission is obtained by submitting a Form 2 within three months from the date of the incident. This is a simple short form which sets out the basic information relating to the claim.
Human resources Department
Once the Form 2 has been submitted the claim will be investigated by the Human resources Department in Garda Headquarters. At this stage it is necessary for your solicitor to obtain all relevant medical notes and records in order to obtain an independent medical report outlining the injuries sustained in order to submit same to the Human Resources Department. The claim will not progress any further until this medical evidence has been submitted.
The medical evidence will be reviewed by the Human Resources Department and once they are satisfied with these reports they will be forwarded to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and an appointment will be arranged for the member to attend for examination with the CMO.
Request to Garda Station
A request should also be made to the Garda Station where the incident occurred for an incident report form or a record of the criminal investigation into the incident giving rise to the injuries sustained by the member. This report is required in order to ascertain whether or not there was in fact malice involved.
Procedure after Authorisation Certificate is Granted
If after reviewing all of the relevant reports and documentation the Human Resources Department is satisfied that the member sustained a serious injury arising out of malice they will compile a report which will be referred back to the Minister for a decision as to whether or not the member may proceed with a claim. If the Minister agrees to allow the claim proceed a Certificate of Authorisation will be issued under the Garda Siochana (Compensation) Act, 1941.
Once the Certificate of Authorisation has been obtained the member has two months within which to issue proceedings in the High Court. The High Court will issue a preliminary court date in order to ascertain that all papers are in order following which a request will be made to have the case called on for hearing in the Garda Compensation List. This list is dealt with in the High Court on a Monday.
In the unfortunate event of a member of An Garda Siochana being fatally injured in the line of duty then his/her dependants are entitled to claim under the Garda Siochana (Compensation) Act 1941. Under this Act the following dependants may be awarded:
- Half-brothers or sisters
- Adopted children under the age of 21 who were supported, maintained and educated by the deceased.