Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (347)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

347. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of outstanding cases of workplace compensation claims with An Garda Síochána by year in the past five years to date in 2019; the sum paid by way of compensation for cases settled over the same period; if the budget of his Department or An Garda Síochána incurs the settlement amount; and the contingent liability of An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45050/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts, 1941 and 1945 provide for a scheme of compensation for members of An Garda Síochána who are maliciously injured in the course of their duty or in relation to the performance of their duties as members of An Garda Síochána and for the dependants of members who have died from injuries maliciously inflicted on them.

Under the Acts, as Minister I have the responsibility to approve or refuse applications for compensation to be put forward to the High Court, having regard to the circumstances of the case and the legislation. This assessment is discharged by officials of my Department. Before deciding if an applicant should be authorised to apply to the High Court for compensation in respect of the injury, all medical reports submitted by the applicant, together with a report on the incident by An Garda Síochána and a report on the injury by the Garda Chief Medical Officer must be considered. The process of progressing an application for compensation from the date of its receipt to the date it is authorised, may take a considerable period of time. Once an application is approved, it is for the individual concerned to apply to the High Court for compensation.

The Deputy will appreciate that for these reasons, cases relating to which awards are made in a given year do not correspond to applications for compensation received in the same year.

I can inform the Deputy however that the number of applications received under the Garda Síochána Compensation Acts 1941 and 1945 in the last five years are as follows:

Year

No of Applications received under the Garda Síochána Compensation Acts 1941 and 1945

2015

191

2016

204

2017

181

2018

161

2019 (to 30 October)

124

I can confirm to the Deputy that compensation awards are paid from the Garda Vote.

I am informed that the amounts paid under the Scheme and legal costs arising in the period 2015- September 2019 are set out in the table below:

Year

Number of cases Completed

Awards paid (€m)

Costs Paid (€m)*

Year

Number of cases Completed

Awards paid (€m)

Costs Paid (€m)*

2015

93

€3.60

€1.30

2016

66

€4.70

€1.60

2017

111

€5.80

€2.00

2018

126

€4.60

€1.80

to September 2019

68

€5.60

€0.81

*Legal costs paid in any particular year do not necessarily correspond to the awards made in that year.

Separately from Garda Compensation cases under the 1941 and 1945 Acts, as set out in the above, certain claims are managed by the State Claims Agency. I am informed by the State Claims Agency that active claims identified on the State Claims Agency National Incident Management System (NIMS) for Garda personnel for the years 2015 to 2019 are as follows.

Year End/Period End

Number of Active Claims

2015

123

2016

133

2017

138

2018

151

2019 (at 30 September 2019

159

I am further informed by the State Claims Agency that the following table sets out the total amount paid in damages in relation to claims by Garda personnel for the years 2015 to 2019.

Year of Transaction

Total Paid

2015

€864,034

2016

€834,376

2017

€726,982

2018

€1,013,957

2019 (at 30 September 2019)

€237,431

Total

€3,676,781