The high street in Kingscourt, County Cavan
The high street in Kingscourt, County Cavan Google Maps

A burglar who injured his genitals during a shop break-in is trying to sue the store's owner.

A gang of three men targeted the store in Kingscourt, County Cavan, using a sledgehammer to gain entry at night.

But as the gang made their escape, they were arrested by armed Gardai, who had been tipped off by a neighbour.

The trio were given suspended sentences for their roles in the burglary.

But on RTÉ's Liveline radio phone-in show on Monday (8 January) the owner of the store, who was only identified as Kevin, called in to say one of the burglars was trying to sue him.

He said during the bungled break-in in November 2015 the burglars climbed back into the store in a bid to escape the Gardai.

Kevin told listeners: "He tried to make his escape, he injured himself on a shelf or a unit, it was dark in the store. He had a cut to his scrotum.

"Reading the medical report he didn't get a stitch, he got one of those strips and was sent home."

But in November Kevin said he received a letter from the solicitor of the burglar asking him to take responsibility for the accident.

"My solicitor advised me to wait and see. We didn't do anything," said Kevin.

A 'horrific' case

But the burglar's solicitor then passed the matter onto the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), which is the statutory first port of call for injury-related insurance claims in Ireland.

The PIAB wrote to Kevin telling him if he wanted to them to review the case, it would cost him a €600 (£530) processing fee.

The businessman does not have to consent to have the case reviewed, but this then allows the claimant to purse a case in the courts.

Kevin said: "My solicitor advised me to hand it over to the insurance company. If it did go to court I could be held totally liable. I believe the insurance company is not accepting responsibility."

The shop owner said so far he has not claimed insurance for the raid, replacing a back door and CCTV cameras that had been destroyed during the burglary out of his own pocket.

The businessman added that the burglar's solicitor was forwarding letters via Castlerea Prison, where his client is behind bars due to other offences.

A spokesman for the PIAB said: "While we cannot comment on any individual case, when we receive a claim we are required by law to write to the person the claim is made against giving them the option of having the case assessed by PIAB, which is a low-cost and quick system."

However, the chairman of Ireland's Personal Injuries Commission, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, described the situation as "horrific".

He told RTE Radio: "It's horrific. There's no other way to describe it. That a citizen who has been through an experience like that, in order to defend a claim or meet a claim has to shell out €600 for the facility of having the matter processed through PIAB."