Data on sick leave among gardaí and prison officers including details on impact of malicious injuries and mental health illness

Gardaí have lost nearly 134,000 days of duty over the past two years after officers suffered injuries while on duty and were forced off sick.

That included more than 33,000 days of illness where a garda suffered a malicious injury while at work and 266 days of sick leave for officers maliciously attacked off-duty.

In total, An Garda Síochána reported more than 204,000 days of illness last year with around 35% of that due to injuries suffered by members.

There was a total of 71,761 days of sick leave attributed to occupational injury last year including 41,281 days where an accidental injury was suffered.

A further 5,747 illness days were caused by road traffic accidents with just over 17,500 days resulting from malicious injuries, either on or off duty.

There were also 455 sick days marked as a work-related musculoskeletal injury, and 6,098 attributed to an occupational injury from duty.

Separately, prison officers have had to take more than 17,000 days of sick leave over the past two years due to mental health issues including stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic attacks.

The Irish Prison Service said that last year 257 officers had been off work for a combined 5,769 days due to psychiatric or psychological issues.

That worked out at an average of 22 days per illness for the officers as some staff struggled with the stress of their volatile and sometimes dangerous working environment.

The toll of stress on prison officers was even higher in 2020, according to data released under FOI, when 11,492 days were taken due to mental health issues.

That worked out at an average of nearly forty-four sick days each for the 262 officers who had to take time off because of stress, anxiety, or a related illness.