Members Stories

Our injured officers are from all backgrounds possible, men and women, who where serving ALL sections of the community.

People who put their lives (and the lives of their families) in danger of terrorist attack,both on and off duty, simply by joining the Police Force to serve the community.

There are far too many stories of broken limbs and minds to list them all here so we have provided a small sample of stories over the past few decades.

1980′s

Michael was injured in 1982.

Michael had been married only 3 weeks before and it was his young wife’s 25th Birthday. Michael was driving a Police Land Rover West Belfast when a terrorist fired an RPG-7 rocket at his vehicle. The rocket severed both of Michael’s arms permanently.

Michael says “I looked down and saw a piece of shrapnel sitting on my thigh and I thought was please don’t let it have affected the family jewels!” It didn’t! He now has 4 children.

Remarkably, Michael is a man without bitterness. He has used his experience to help others who have gone through trauma and is now a leading Trauma Psychologist with a growing recognition around the World.

1970′s

Betty was injured in 1978.

On the 18th April 1978 Betty was on duty at Portglenone in County Antrim. She was closing the station gate when terrorists callously started shooting. Betty was shot by an Armalite rifle. The round entered her arm and ‘tumbled’ through her body and lodged at back of her eye, blinding her.

Betty was blinded and had a serious injury to her arm. Betty has had to undergo eye operations and numerous arm operations. Plates have been added and bone grafted.

Betty joined the DPOA in 1983 and in 2003 she became the first Female Director in the newly restructured Association. She enjoys the comradeship very much and enjoys helping people in similar or worse circumstances.

1960′s

Ivan was injured in several times in 1969.

In July he was knocked unconscious having been struck in the face with a brick. He was dragged by comrades to a doorway to rest, when the rioting crowd charged down the street and someone threw a piece of iron railing which struck him on the left hip putting him out of action for a month.

He recovered sufficiently to return to duty in August when he became the first officer to take a direct hit with a petrol bomb. It hit his left shoulder and enveloped him in flames. The image was captured by the press and the photograph became one of the famous images of the troubles. He was partially blinded, stoned by the rioters and eventually struck by an iron bar that smashed in his helmet causing brain damage before being rescued by his colleagues.

It was 9 months before he recovered fully to return to light duties.

Over the following years after this he was blown up several times, shot at, and also had to evacuate his family home due to terrorist intimidation.

Ivan is a former chairman of the DPOA and worked for the Association throughout the restructuring.

 

The Disabled Police Officers Association is a registered Charity – Number XR12274 and a Company Limited by Guarantee NI 43461. The DPOANI relay on donations - please donate now on our Just Giving Page.

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