A retired garda, who feared for his life when he was assaulted after serving a court summons last week, is recovering from his ordeal at home.
Speaking to the Donegal News yesterday, the man said that he had been subjected to a ‘fairly sustained and brutal’ attack in the Letterkenny area.
“I was treated at Letterkenny University Hospital for my injuries. Thankfully there were no broken bones but plenty of cuts and bruises to my face and body,” he said.
“It’s not the most palatable of jobs (serving a summons) but I didn’t expect that I would be subjected to such an assault. I believe that I’m the third former member (An Garda Siochana) in Donegal to have been assaulted doing this job over the past number of months,” he added.
A spokesman at Letterkenny Garda Station confirmed that they were aware of the incident.
“Investigations are ongoing into an alleged assault which was reported to the station and also into a second report, relating to a different individual, dating to some time back,” he said.
Process servers deliver, or serve, legal papers to people who are required to appear in court, usually for personal injury or divorce cases.
The process server is normally employed by the court, sheriff or law firms and legal documents must be hand delivered to people in person.
The married man, who asked not to be named, said the part-time job wasn’t ‘everyone’s cup of tea’.
“Most of these people are going through a difficult time and, therefore, it’s never easy to hand them a summons. That said, in the vast majority of cases people are more than reasonable. It’s a service we offer on behalf of injured parties or the plaintiff. It’s part of the job but we don’t expect to be assaulted. There are certain individuals out there who feel that it’s their right to take the law into their own hands.
“Don’t shoot the messenger if you don’t like the message. We serve legal papers to people who are required to appear in court. Every workday is different, but every day legal documents must be delivered to people in person. I’m the second person in recent months to have been assaulted while another former member, in west Donegal, was also attacked in recent times,” he said.
“It’s hard sometimes to physically try to hand a summons to someone as they may not want to accept it but once you serve it your job of work is done. It’s a service we provide for solicitors. It’s nothing personal.”
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