A former soldier, who claimed he had suffered a psychiatric illness and post traumatic stress after serving in the Lebanon 22 years ago, has been awarded more than €300,000 by the High Court.
Victor Murtagh, 42, a father of six from Ballymote in Co Sligo, was a private serving in the Lebanon when two of his fellow soldiers were killed in 1986 and in 1987.
He was discharged from the Army on health grounds in 1998.
He claimed he did not receive any counselling or treatment from the Army for severe anxiety attacks and stress related illness sustained as a result of his experiences in Lebanon.
Mr Murtagh was on duty on 6 December 1986, when Private William O'Brien from Athlone was killed by gunfire.
He was also on duty on 10 January 1987 when Corporal Dermot McLoughlin was killed by a shrapnel round from an Israeli tank.
Mr Justice Declan Budd found the Army's doctors had failed to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder in an ‘immature and vulnerable 21-year-old’ who was exhibiting numerous symptoms of acute anxiety and had been exposed to life threatening experiences.
He found Mr Murtagh suffered from depression, suicidal tendencies, alcohol abuse, anxiety and sleep problems after his return from Lebanon.
Mr Murtagh was finally diagnosed with PTSD by an Army psychiatrist in 1996.
He now works abroad in construction.
Mr Justice Budd awarded him a total of €305,523 including €270,000 for pain and suffering and €2,650 for loss of hearing.