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THE Goverment has paid out more than EUR17million compensation to gardai injured in the line of duty in the past three years.

And new figures seen only by the Irish Sunday Mirror reveal that over EUR12million has been paid to people who say they were attacked or falsely arrested by officers.

An astounding EUR9.5million of this was made up of legal costs. Only EUR158,034 actually went to victims of police wrongdoing in cases involving assaults, unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution.

The biggest single award was EUR75,000 for a man who sued the Garda and the State for assault and wrongful arrest.

A total of EUR12,732,328 was paid out by the Department of Justice in 297 civil actions, including over EUR3million on out-of-court settlements. A security source said State solicitors refuse to fight many cases to avoid paying higher legal bills.

The source added: "There are many cases which were settled out of court but there was a feeling that if gardai had challenged it they may have won.

State solicitors take the view it might be cheaper to pay out than pay for a long, expensive legal battle, even if that would end up with the State winning."

Other figures released by the Department of Justice show 317 cases were lodged by gardai since 2009 under the Garda Compensation Acts for cases involving gardai being stabbed, shot, assaulted and having their cars rammed at high speed.

Gardai injured in the line of duty have been awarded EUR4.5million in 139 compensation claims already this year.
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 25, 2011
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