Written Answers. - High Court Case Costs.


asked the Minister for Justice if the State will indemnify a member of the Garda Síochána for all costs for which he is liable in a case (details supplied); and, if so, when payment will be made.

Limerick East): I am informed by the Attorney General that the proceedings referred to were a High Court action for damages for assault. The defendants were two named gardaí, Ireland and the Attorney General. The two gardaí concerned had their own legal representation. After a five day hearing, the jury held that the garda referred to in the question had unlawfully assaulted the plaintiff and that the other garda had not assaulted him. The plaintiff was awarded a sum in respect of damages and his costs against the garda referred to, Ireland and the Attorney General. The other garda was awarded his costs against the plaintiff. No party appealed against the jury's findings.

The State has paid to the plaintiff the damages and an agreed sum in respect of costs. In the circumstances of this case, and having regard to the fact that the garda referred to was found by the High Court to have unlawfully assaulted the plaintiff, it would not be appropriate for the State to make an ex gratia award out of public funds in respect of any costs for which he might be liable. As I indicated in reply to the Deputy's previous Parliamentary Question (No. 362 of 23 October 1985), if any costs other than those already paid by the State are being sought by any party, that is a matter between the parties concerned, and no costs are due by the State to any party.