Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Injured FCA Member.

Wednesday, 11 December 1963

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 206 No. 8

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67.

Mr. Ryan:  asked the Minister for Defence if he will state, with reference to the person mentioned in a reply of 28th November last, the number of days he was on annual training in 1961 before he reported to the medical doctor; and if, having regard to the fact that the injuries from which he was suffering could have been sustained only during that period of training, he will now reconsider the applicant's claim for compensation.

Minister for Defence (Mr. Bartley): Information on Gerald Bartley  Zoom on Gerald Bartley  The member in question was on annual [1057] training in Gormanston Camp from 17th to 30th June, 1961. He was, therefore, on training for nine days before he reported sick on 26th June, 1961. He has never given any indication as to how he incurred the disabilities— cracked ribs and slipped disc—for which he claimed compensation. As I said in my reply on 27th November, 1963, compensation is payable to members of An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil only if they are injured in the course of training. As I have no evidence that he was injured in such circumstances, I regret that I cannot reconsider his claim for compensation.

Disablements such as those sustained in this case could, of course, have been sustained during the member's off-duty periods or during his absence on local leave.

Mr. Ryan:  Am I to understand from the Minister that if the applicant is unable to prove that the injuries occurred while on duty perhaps during manoeuvres, he will not be granted compensation? Is the Minister throwing the onus on the individual to prove where he got the slipped disc and the broken rib?

Mr. Bartley: Information on Gerald Bartley  Zoom on Gerald Bartley  I think so.

Mr. Ryan:  But during that period of training, was not that member engaged in the customary manoeuvres that trainees engage in and is it not more than likely that these injuries may have been sustained in these manoeuvres without the knowledge of the individual himself?

Mr. Bartley: Information on Gerald Bartley  Zoom on Gerald Bartley  The only duty on which this member was engaged on the Sunday in question was as one of a party of military who lined the route to Croke Park for the closing of the Patrician Year ceremonies. They were only an hour there and when he returned from that duty he did not report having suffered any mishap. After that duty they were given local leave. He, among others, went to a dance in Drogheda. I assume that something happened at the dance.

General MacEoin: Information on General Seán MacEoin  Zoom on General Seán MacEoin  Surely the fact that the member did not report is not [1058] evidence? Surely you cannot put the two together?

Mr. Bartley: Information on Gerald Bartley  Zoom on Gerald Bartley  I should tell the Deputy that the member did not report to the doctor after the rather light Sunday duty to which I refer. He did not report until the Monday morning after the dance and even then he was not, as he claimed, put to bed. He was put on light duty.

Mr. Ryan:  That was the faulty medical examination of the Army doctor. He had a broken rib and a slipped disc and it was not found until after——

Mr. Bartley: Information on Gerald Bartley  Zoom on Gerald Bartley  Perhaps the Deputy is not aware that his own private doctor did not order X-rays for a week after he was first consulted?

Mr. Ryan:  That was because he relied upon the skill of the Army medical services.


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