State loses ap­peal against High court de­ci­sion to award Sligo sol­dier dam­ages

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

THE State has lost its ap­peal against a High Court de­ci­sion that a for­mer sol­dier should be awarded dam­ages for a fail­ure to di­ag­nose and treat him for psy­cho­log­i­cal in­juries he sus­tained while in the Le­banon more than 30 years ago.

RTE news re­ported yes­ter­day (Mon­day) that The Supreme Court ruled it was com­pletely sat­is­fied that the High Court’s find­ing that the State had breached its duty of care to Vic­tor Murtagh, of Bal­ly­mote in Sligo, by fail­ing to di­ag­nose and treat his post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der was am­ply sup­ported by cred­i­ble ev­i­dence.

How­ever, it re­duced the amount of dam­ages awarded to Mr Murtagh from just over €300,000 to just over €150,000. Mr Murtagh was 21-years-old and be­gin­ning his first tour of duty in the Le­banon in Oc­to­ber 1986 when he was ex­posed to a num­ber of dan­ger­ous and stress­ful in­ci­dents that trau­ma­tised him. By the end of Novem­ber he was un­well and was treated in hospi­tal, but al­lowed to re­turn to duty. In the fol­low­ing months, two Ir­ish sol­diers were killed, in­clud­ing Cor­po­ral Der­mot McLough­lin, who was also from Sligo and had be­friended and sup­ported Mr Murtagh. Out­side court, Mr Murtagh said he was de­lighted the case was over as it had been go­ing on for ten years. His so­lic­i­tor, Damien Tansey said his client was re­lieved.

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