Masked man pointed gun at Tipp garda at checkpoint

A former Tipperary garda sergeant who had a gun pointed at him by a masked raider has been awarded more than €390,000 in compensation.

A former Tipperary garda sergeant who had a gun pointed at him by a masked raider has been awarded more than €390,000 in compensation.

Sean Walzer from Mullinahone quit the force three years after the incident which left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

When Sergt Walzer and a colleague stopped a suspicious car car at a checkpoint after 1am on September 5, 2005, a masked man pointed a gun at the two gardaí and told them to “get the f**k out of here now or else”.

He then sped off.

The gardaí followed the car, but lost it after a high-speed chase.

Senior Counsel Bruce Antoniotti outlined the details at a Garda Compensation hearing in the High Court.

In a reserved judgment, Justice Bernard Barton heard that three days after the incident in Mullinahone, Mr Walzer left the Garda station following a late-night shift.

“He closed the door behind him and while standing on the doorstep he was overcome by a feeling of extreme fear and experienced a flashback to the confrontation at gunpoint,” the judge said.

Three years later Sgt Walzer, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, quit the force.

Mr Walzer found himself unable to face work and life itself.

“The consequences of this illness have been devastating... completely altering him from the man he was,” Judge Barton said.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton told Mr Walzer the experience of seeing a masked gunman point a gun at him in the darkness of a lonely laneway had cast a long and intrusive shadow over his life.