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