More Time Needed as Creche Assault Case is Adjourned Until June

Additional time to continue deliberations on a number of outstanding charges in a creche assault case has been requested by the jury in a case where a childcare worker is accused of sexually assaulting four girls in a Leinster crèche.

Last Monday the jury in the case was unable to come to a number of verdicts, despite acquitting the man on three other charges relating to the first girl, and acquitted of both charges in relation to the fourth girl. The jury then informed Judge Elma Sheahan that it would like more time to deliberate on the remaining charges against the 29-year-old man, who cannot be named to safeguard the identity of the children.

The man had entering a plea of not guilty in relation to 23 counts of sexually assaulting the girls at the crèche on dates ranging to August 2014 and December 2016, when they were aged between five and eight years old. The prosecution claimed that accused man in question  had sexually assaulted the girls, who were all part of a “small circle of friends”.

However, legal counsel for the accused man say that the case was “marked by its failure to listen to the children” and that the man had been left “utterly devastated” by the false allegations made against him.

Yesterday at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday the trial told Judge Sheahan that it was unable to reach verdict in relation to the remaining 18 counts of sexual assault after deliberating for 21 hours and 41 minutes.

Judge Sheahan then opted to adjourn the trial until June 16 and thanked the jury for their service while remanding the man on continuing bail.


School Camp Compensation of €55,000 Awarded to Boy who Cut Knee on Tree Stump

At the High Court a child injury compensation action has been settled for €55,000 for a boy who cut his knee when he fell on a tree stump at a mid-term camp.

The accident in question occurred what Diarmuid O’Connor was just 10 years of age. He was attending the mid-term camp during the break from school when he was exploring an area of bushes. The court was told that it was during this exploration that the accident happened.

The claim was awarded against the operators of the camp, Artzone Ltd. They were responsible for the running of the art camps during February 19, 2016. The camp was being conducted at Taney Parish Hall, Dundrum, Dublin.

Judge Justice Garrett Simons was informed that Diarmuid had wandered off during break during break time. He was accompanied by some friends, as he did so, and they decided to go into a part of the camp that was quite bushy. It was here that he fell. when the alarm was raised employees of the came cam eot the scene. They removed the accompanying boys away from the scene of the accident and called for a ambulance to attend the scene.

As he was giving his approval for the child injury compensation settlement, Mr Justice Garrett Simons said the young boy has been left with a scar. In addition to this, he is now apprehensive about wearing shorts, like most boys his age when the weather is warmer during the summer months.

Diarmuid took the personal injury compensation claims via his mother Jacinta O’Connor. DIarmuid is now 15 years of age and live at an address in Ashton Avenue, Knocklyon, Dublin,

Justice Simons referred to the agreed settlement as a satisfactory one and and made reference to the fact that a trial could have been problematic when the issues of supervision and how the young boy was permitted to walk off, unsupervised, with friend were considered.


Creche Sexual Assault Trial for 29-Year-Old Man Begins

A childcare employee accused of sexually assaulting four girls in a creche was concerned about children sitting on his knee as he felt it made him “vulnerable to complaints”, his trial has heard. It is alleged that the man, on dates between February 2015 and December 2016, assault the group of girls 23 times. The individual in question had entered a plea of not guilty in relation to the accusations that have been registered by the girls who were aged between five and eight-years-old at the time of the assault.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was informed on Monday that a performance review carried out by the creche in September 2014 said the man had an “excellent relationship with the children. Children of all ages hang on to your every word and in some cases hang on to you physically.

The man is standing trial in relation to ten counts of sexual assault in relation to the first girl, eight in relation to the second girl, three in relation to the third and two in relation to the fourth. The offences are all alleged to have occurred in different places at the crèche and on a bus owned by the crèche .

The creche owner agreed with legal representative for the defence. Seán Guerin SC that this was a positive comment in relation to the man’s relationship with the children. She said: “It showed they wanted to be in his company and they enjoyed his company. They had a good relationship with him.”

In order to maintain the anonymity of the children involved, the man’s identity and the name of crèche cannot be revealed by the media. Prosecuting Counsel Orla Crowe said the man was first given a tole in in the kitchen of the crèche in 2013. However, not long after this he started to work with after-school children. In December 2016 was was relieved of this position as he had not attained the required level of childcare qualification to hold this position. The man’s job included taking children to school in the early mornings and bring them back to the creche after school ended. As an extra duty he supervised the older after-school children. Ms Crowe said an allegation of sexual misconduct against the man was first submitted on 12 December 2016 when one of the girls informed another child who, in turn, advised one of the other creché workers. The child’s parents were made aware of the situation and they contacted the gardaí. The court was informed that these assaults typically took place in an upstairs toilet in the creche. Allegedly, the man repeatedly took the child out of her designated room, brought her down a corridor that had a CCTV camera, took her into the bathroom and sexually assaulted her in an area external to the cubicles. The jury was told this bathroom area is also captured by a CCTV camera, except for an area just inside the door. This door features a glass panel, meaning the man would have been “easily visible” to anyone passing by. The court was told that the d that the children would be available for cross-examination by the defence team over a video link, and videos of previously conduct Garda interviews will be shown to the court during the trial. The children’s parents and the specialist garda interviewers will also be available. The court was advised by the créche owner that the man had no relevant qualification in child care when he started work but had begun his required training. This was standard company policy and the man had completed a one-day child safeguarding workshop. In relation to the man’s suitability for the position the proprietor said that she was of the opinion that it would be good to have a male role model in the crèche. The owner went on to say that legislation had changed and anyone working in a crèche after 31 December 2016 had to have a FETAC level 5 qualification. Due to this fact the man was knowledgeable of the fact that he would not be able to continue his position because he did not have this qualification. On 12 December 2016 the creche owner in the management office when a staff member reported to her that one of the after school students had advised another child that she had been made to kiss the man in the ‘privates’. She told the court that she was no confident on which course of action to follow after hearing this in case it was just a case of some of the children being fanciful. She contacted the parents of the children involved and the next day a father of one of the girls contacted the gardaí in relation to the incident. Due to this the man was told that he was be suspended from his role as there was a serious allegation submitted against him. The trial continues.

Compensation Claims Submitted in Relation to 1960s Catholic Church Adoptions in Belfast

At the High Court in Belfast the first of what is predicted to be a number of compensation claims in relation to illegal adoptions arranged by the Catholic Church of children born in the Republic of Ireland, has been submitted.  

At present there are 148 believed to have been impacted in adoption incidents like this, a number has grown from 126 when it was first announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar 20 months in May 2018. At the time the Taoiseach told the Dáil that the disclosures of the adoptions were just “another chapter from the very dark history of our country” which had “robbed children – our fellow citizens – of their identity”

The plaintiff in this particular case is well known Belfast actor Patrick FitzSymons. Now 57, FitzSymons is an actor who played the character Reginald Lannister in Game of Thrones and also produced the biographical TV movie of Irish comedian Dave Allen, Dave Allen at Peace. He was born to an unmarried couple in Co Clare during the 1960s. His parents, trying to avoid the social stigma of having a child out of wedlock permitted the Catholic church agency St Patrick’s Guild to have him adopted to a married couple in Co Antrim. 

Mr FitzSymons said that his adoptive parents, who have both passed away had “loved me and provided for me as best they could’ and that his “natural parents, my birth mother in particular, had endured the institutional shaming and disapproval of Ireland at that time to do what she thought to be the right thing”.

During summer 2018, Mr FitzSymons was told by Tusla his births was mistakenly registered between 1946 and 1969 by the Dublin-based St Patrick’s Guild. He has previously talked about the emotional impact both sets of parents endured due to the incident and his initial reluctance to initiate the case.

He said: “When I was contacted by Tusla last summer and told that I was one of the 126 it was clear to me, given the turmoil I and my family had endured over the past two decades, that I should stand up and be counted. But still I agonised about the possible consequences.

“My adoptive parents – both now dead – had loved me and provided for me as best they could. Would I want anything that might reflect badly on them? Of course not. My natural parents – my birth mother in particular – had endured the institutional shaming and disapproval of Ireland at that time to do what she thought to be the right thing.”

He also spoke about how he discovered that he was adopted saying “My adopted mother and I were forever falling out, partly about religion. She possibly felt she had not properly fulfilled her promise to bring me up as a Catholic – because that had been the only stipulation. Rather cryptically, in a letter, I had written something along the lines ‘if you want to talk to kids you should talk to people who have had kids of their own’. I can’t remember what the context of that was. But one evening I was just having a regular visit with her and she asked if I had ever had the intuition that I was adopted. I just said ‘no’ and she said: ‘There’s something I need to tell you’. Well, the bottom fell out of my world. She said it was only fair that I did know. Perhaps she had been planning to tell me anyway.”

The legal firm representing Mr FitzSymon’s case, Coleman Legal Partners, are managing 25 similar cases, at present, and are expecting that number to grow even more. Mr FitzSymons solicitor, Norman Spicer of Coleman Legal Partners. said that the firm is handling a number of cases like this but admitted that there are no plans to apply for a “class action” order because of the complexity of the individual cases.

He said: “There is no provision for the North American-style of ‘class action’ under Irish law. However, a court has discretion to grant an order which may mirror to some extent the other system for a specific case or set of cases. We do not envisage making such an application. These are complex cases involving many different defendants, as a result it is difficult to say how long these cases will take as it depends on all of the parties involved and how quickly responses, replies and motions, and so on, can be turned around. Three years (the estimated time the case will take to process) would not be an unreasonable time frame but this is dependent upon many factors and is really only a ‘ballpark’ estimate.”







Cinema Accident Compensation of €40,000 for Schoolgirl

At the Circuit Civil Court Tori McDermott Ellis, an eight-year-old schoolgirl from Loughlinstown, has been awarded €40,000 cinema accident compensation in relation to a fall at a Dún Laoghaire cinema in which she dislocated her knee.

Ms McDermott Ellis was represented in court by Barrister Siobhán Gaffney. Gaffney informed the Circuit Civil Court that Tori  had tripped and fell on an uneven floor surface in the EMC Cinema at the Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Dún Laoghaire. The accident, she informed the judge, had taken place on October 2, 2016.

Appearing in conjunction with Murphys Solicitors, Ms Gaffney told presiding Judge Frances Comerford that Tori, who is now 12 years old, had struck her left knee up against a cup holder that was attached to a cinema seat. After this collision the young girl found that she was unable to get up onto her feet afterwards.

The court was advised that the young girl was rushed by ambulance to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. Here was an X-ray was carried out that revealed her left kneecap had been dislocated. Surgeons were able to put her kneecap back into the correct position when the girl was sedated.

In order for the injury to be healed, Ms Gaffney told Judge Francis Comerford that Tori’s left leg had been placed in a cast for a number of weeks. Due to this the young girl was absent from school for a period of that time. In addition to having the cast put in place, Tori also undertook a course of physiotherapy treatments as part of her rehabilitation. Tori, through her mother Mellissa Ellis, had sued Irish Multiplex Cinemas Limited, Dún Laoghaire,

The Judge was informed that Tori, who has an address at Parc Na Silla Lane, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin, had recovered well. Ms Gaffney also remarked to the court that the Injuries Board Book of Quantum places a value of such an injury somewhere between €28,000 and €56,000. She went on to say that, while liability had not been formally admitted in the case, the €40,000 personal injury compensation settlement, had been agreed between all parties before Wednesday’s court application.

The judge approved the settlement together with legal costs involved in the case.


Girl (16) settles for €70,000 after fall on ‘potholed’ lane near home

At the High Court today, a young girl settled her personal injury compensation action for €70,000 in relation to an accident when she chipped her teeth and sustained cuts to her face when, she claims, she allegedly fell on a pothole and “patched” laneway near her home.

The girl in question, Kristen Liddy, took the legal the legal action against Longford County Council, due to their mandate to maintain the condition of the roadway, as a result of the accident that occurred close to her home in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford on May 10,2010.

Kristen, who was aged just seven when the accident occured, was crossing a laneway between her home at Devine Crescent and the fire station in Edgeworthstown at the time. Ms Liddy, claimed that she tripped and fell forward onto her face, chipping her front teeth and suffering cuts to her right check, right upper eyebrow and left knee.In order to deal with the injuries she later had the chipped teeth capped. However, despite the medical treatment that she was given she has been left with some minor scarring.

The girl took the personal injury compensation action via her father Frank, Ms Liddy, now aged 16, of Devine Crescent, Edgeworthstown. They sued Longford County Council due to the accident in which she sustained the injuries. Medical reports submitted to the the High Court, completed by those who inspected Ms Liddy’s facial injuries, stated that the scars to her right cheek and forehead had healed acceptably.

At the High Court today, Ms Liddy’s legal representatives informed Mr Justice Garrett Simons that he could give his approval to the €70,000 personal injury compensation settlement offer by the Council to settle the legal action.

The judge commented that the €70,000 pothole accident compensation included €64,112 in general damages with the remainder for special damages and was very close to the full value of the case.



High Court Action Settled for €135,000 in Favour of Dead Woman’s Family

The family of a woman who was killed in a hit-and-run accident have settled their legal action for €135,000 with the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) at the High Court.

The court heard today the driver of the car did not stop, absconded and remains untraced since mother of one Caroline Watkins (40) was fatally struck by a car while crossing the road at the Goldenbridge Luas stop on Davitt Road, Drimnagh, Dublin on May 30, 2014.

The legal action claimed that the untraced driver was driving in a dangerous and careless manner and failed to stop, slow down or swerve to reduce the impact of the collision. The claims were denied.

Michael O’ Scanaill SC, with Bonnie Hickey BL represented the Watkins family in court. He told the court that Caroline’s daughter Ella Watkins (16) of Esker Glebe, Lucan, Co Dublin, was only ten years old when her mother died, and was taking the compensation action via her grandmother Ethel Watkins.

The High Court was informed that Caroline’s family were left traumatised due to failure of the driver to remain at the scene and, to this date, remains untraced – CCTV footage of the scene shows Ms Watkins got across half of the carriageway and was moving faster than a walking pace. However, the  pedestrian light was not in her favour and the person accompanying her had not attempted to cross the road. The legal representatives also said that it was of the opinion that the car which struck Ms Watkins was travelling at 55 km /h in a 50 km/h zone.

Previously an inquest into the death of Ms Watkins was told that she had been on her way home to Ballyfermot from a pub. She was with her partner, at about 10.30pm when they decided to walk to Davitt Road to get a taxi. At the Goldenbridge Luas stop, they got to the edge of a pedestrian crossing and waited. However then Ms Watkins walked out onto the road and was struck by the bumper of the car. She then hit the bonnet and windscreen and was thrown forward, landing about thirty feet away on the ground. A postmortem found Ms Watkins died of multiple injuries caused by the impact.

Mr O Scanaill told the High Court that Ella now lives with her aunt and is “an incredible well-rounded individual.”

Approving the €150,000 pedestrian accident compensation settlement in the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he could understand the anger, upset and annoyance of the Watkins family where the driver fled the scene and “did not face the music.”

He added that the driver “showed no courage” and remarked that, from watching the CCTV footage, Ms Watkins seemed to be “in a bit of a hurry” and had to cross the road through traffic coming both ways. The red light was against her and she took a chance, the judge commented.

Due to this he awarded €135,000 to Ella, which represents 40pc of the full value of the compensation claim.


Facebook Moderator Claim Taken Against Social Media Giant

A former contractor has submitted a Facebook moderator claim against the social media platform’s Irish subsidiary in relation to psychological injuries he claims he sustained as a result of the work he was expected to carry out. He says that this work involved viewing ‘extremely disturbing, graphic and violent content’.

Earlier today Chris Gray submitted his legal action to the High Court against the Irish subsidiary of Facebook and CPL solutions, the latter being the company that contracted him to complete the moderation work.

As part of his legal action Mr Gray claims that he suffered psychological injuries as a direct result of the “very disturbing” photographs and videos, including executions, lethal beatings, stonings, whippings, the abuse of children, animal torture and extreme sexual content” that he had to view during his time moderating Facebook content. Facebook uses an extensive network of content moderators around the world. This network of moderators, thought to include 15,000 moderators, is expected to filter through all content published on the platform in order to remove inappropriate graphic content – with a 98% accuracy rating.

53-year-old Mr Gray said that he became aware of a “slow creep” whereby his “personal and political views were becoming increasingly influenced by the insidious content he was required to view.” He added that he experienced difficulty sleeping due to nightmares about the content that he viewed and would often wake during the night “with a fright, concerned not by the content, but by whether or not he had marked it correctly during his shift”.

He claimed that there was a lack of support and training to allow him deal with “what seemed like a relentless flow of extreme and graphic material”. He said that, due to this, his mood was greatly impacted and he could not talk about work-related issues with his superiors in a calm and professional manner.

Mr Gray is being represented Coleman Legal Partners, Dublin, and it is likely that this will be the first of a number of Facebook moderator claims submitted by individuals who allege that they are are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Foxglove, a UK-based not-for-profit group is lending its backing to the legal action and are lobbying to have Facebook address the conditions that the works must operate in.



Home Damage Compensation of Woman awarded €54,000 Due to Oil Leak Incident

At the High Court €54,000 has been awarded to a woman in relation to heating oil which spilled from her neighbour’s tank – causing sufficient damage to result in her having to find temporary accomodation for two years.

Ms Davies took the home accident damage compensation against her neighbour Margaret O’Leary. Ms O’Leary was living in a house on a elevated area to the back of Ms Davies’ home. She (Ms O’Leary) denied she was liable for damages as there had been a settlement for the costs of repairing her home and payments for different accommodation for Ms Davies and her family. She was represented in court by her insurer.

Mr Justice Meenan rejected claims by Ms Davies that Ms O’Leary had deliberately lied to to her when Ms Davies approached her about the spill. He awarded her €54, 204, made up of €12,500 general damages and €41, 704 special damages,

In his ruling Justice Meenan said while Ms O’Leary had not been called to give evidence he was happy that she had acted responsibly when she learned the leak was coming from her tank. The action she took to address this included getting the oil removed promptly and hiring environmental experts to review the damage inflicted.

Ms Davies informed the court the leak took place early one morning after they had been experiencing a considerable amount of rain in  January 2013. She said that she went to Ms O’Leary’s  and spoke her her over the intercom as she (Ms O’Leary) did not open her gate and said she did not have an oil leak but would get it checked as soon as possible. Following this Ms Davies said she witnessed men apparently emptying the tank.

Ms O’Leary, when contacted by Ms Davies, advised her that she was having the oil removed as a precautionary measure and maintained that there was no oil leak. Within five minutes of this conversation taking place Ms Davies received a call Ms O’Leary’s son Jarlath who also assured her “there was no oil leaking and the emptying of the tank was solely precautionary.”

The judge was informed that for the repair work the oil damage required the ground floor to be cut up “like a piece of fudge” so the substructure would not be damaged.

Mr Justice  Meenan dismissed Ms Davies’ claim for aggravated damages as, he found, there was no basis for having included them in the statement of claim.



Girl Awarded €15,000 in following Car Accident in Dublin

€15,000 car accident compensation has been awarded to model and personal trainer Zoe Whelan in relation to a shoulder injury she sustained when a Cherrypicker van backed into her Audi car close to the famous Five Lamps in Dublin.

Ms Whelan was praised by Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court today for having made an early disclosure to the defendant that she had previously settled two road traffic accident compensation claims for €12,500 each.

Judge Linnane said said: “All medical reports were fully furnished in relation to Ms Whelan’s previous accidents before this case came to court. There is no question of anything having been concealed from the defence and I want to make that very clear.”

Counsel for Ms Whelan, barrister John Nolan, was told by Judge Linnane that the court had found her evidence of the December 2017 accident far more compelling than that provided by the two witnesses appearing on behalf of Electsol Services Limited. The testimony provided by these witnesses claimed she (MS Whelan) had driven at speed into the back of its Cherrypicker van which was being used in the repair of street lamps in Dunne Street, Dublin.

Ms Whelan (25), who lives in Newbury Park, Clonshaugh, Dublin, informed the court she had come to a halt behind the Cherrypicker in question. The Cherrypicker had been partly blocking the street and was surprised when she saw its reversing lights come on and move backwards towards her. She went on to say that there was nothing else she could do when she saw the reversing lights come on.

Ms Whelan said: “I was screaming and pumping the horn but it kept coming and crashed into the front of my car. My right arm was fully extended and firmly on the steering wheel as I pumped the horn with my left hand.  When it struck my car my arm was pushed back, injuring my right shoulder.”

In what Judge Linnane described as a vigorous cross-examination by defence counsel, Ms Whelan told the court she did not tell lies, denying defence allegations that it was her who had driven into the back of the Cherrypicker.

Tony Doyle, the driver of the Cherrypicker told Mr Nolan the reversing lights would have come on when he had put the vehicle into reverse but he had not moved it as he did not have an interior rear mirror and had been awaiting hand signals from Mr Leavy. When there had been no signals he had got out and saw there had been an impact.

Judge Linnane said Ms Whelan had told the court her shoulders had been injured in both of the two previous accidents, previously mentioned, and the court accepted the December 2017 incident would not have helped the earlier injuries she sustained.

Ms Whelan had taken the legal action against Electsol Services Limited, of Rathbrack, Killucan, Co Westmeath, and Dublin City Council for which it had been completing sub-contract work on street lights in the Five Lamps area.


€30,000 Creché Abuse Compensation Award for Boy Featured on RTÉ Documentary

At the High Court a €30,000 creche abuse compensation award has been been settled in favour of an eight-year-old boy who attended a creche mentioned in an RTE exposé on the treatment of pre-school children when he was just a baby.

Lucas Doyle was just two years old what footage of him allegedly being strapped into a chair for two hours at the Giraffe creche, Belarmine, Stepaside, Co Dublin. as shown on the RTÉ programme ‘A Breach of Trust’.

The Belarmine Giraffe creche was one of three premises selected by the RTE PrimeTime Investigates programme to be the subject of an undercover investigation in to the standard of care provided by pre school services within the State in 2013. The High Court was told that, ten days before the RTE documentary was broadcast, the producer and cameraman of the programme came to the boy’s home with footage due to be broadcast. He showed the young boy’s parents the footage from the Belarmine creche which allegedly showed Lucas in a room where children. Along with him being tied into the chair the children are allegedly being shouted at.

Lucas attended the creche in Belarmine between August 2012 and May 2013, starting when he was 11-and-a-half months’ old until he was a year and eight months old. He (Lucas), through his mother Aisling Emmet, took the creche abuse compensation action against Giraffe Childcare Unlimited Company and its managing director Simon Dowling.

In the legal action they claimed that the footage showed that Lucas being allegedly restrained in a chair for two hours on one day. Giraffe Childcare, through the court, informed the boy’s parents that new safeguards had been put in place after the incident. However his parents had sourced alternative childcare and Lucas was reported to have recovered well from any suffering he had to endure.

Mr Justice Garret Simons approved a creche abuse compensation settlement of €30,000.


Creche Fall Compensation Award of €32,500 for Boy (2)

€32,500 creche fall compensation has been awarded to a two-year-old boy who fell and cut his left eyebrow at Wee Care Limited, Monkstown, Co Dublin in the Circuit Civil Court on Tuesday.

The accident occurred as the boy, Lucas Murphy, was cleaning his hands in a crèche bathroom. Barrister Samantha Cruess Callaghan, counsel for Lucas, told Judge John O’Connor that the boy had been standing on a footstool while cleaning his hands at a sink. He was using the footstool as the sink was too high for him to reach. Lucas is now seven years old.

Lucas, with an address at  Ashgrove, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, had been standing on a small plastic stool while cleaning his hands when the accident happened and he struck his head on the toilet bowl as he fell from his perch.

Through his legal team and his father, it was alleged that there was negligence on behalf of the creche in relation to the incident and Lucas had been left with a visible horizontal scar on his left eyebrow.

The accident occurred when Lucas, who was aged two-and-a-half at the time, was attending the Wee Care Creche in October 2014. The young boy suffered a great deal of trauma and was rushed to Tallaght Hospital by ambulance. He was then taken to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin where he was seen to by physicians. They treated him medically using adhesive tape.

Lucas was taken back to the day care unit at the hospital for three further appointments, the last being in January 2015. By that time the wound had properly healed but he had been left with a two centimetre long scar.

The creche fall injury compensation action was taken against Wee Care Limited for Lucas via his father Darren Murphy. The Judge was informed that they believed the accident had happened due to negligence on behalf of the crèche. Wee Care Ltd made a settlement offer of €32,500 damages which Judge O’Connor approved, despite being advised that the boy’s parent believed that it was insufficient. However they were informed by the Judge that given the circumstances, it was a very reasonable offer.


Widow Awarded €170,000 Wrongful Death Compensation Award in Relation to Husband’s Death

A wrongful death compensation action has been settled for €170,000  in favour of the widow of pensioner Martin Flannery, who died due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mr Flannery had been reviewing if petrol generators were powered on to properly heat a newly constructed building for his niece. The house was being heated prior to a first fix airtight test.

However, Mr Flannery was found, lying on the ground, unconscious in the house, which was next door to his own hosue in Mayo, in 2015. An official inquest into the death of Martin Flannery (66)  returned a verdict of accidental death.

Coroner John O’Dwyer said, in returning the verdict, that Mr Flannery was merely helping his brother and his niece by checking on the house when the tragic incident happened. Martin Flannery was discovered unconscious in a room at the back of the property and despite efforts to revive him, he was pronounced dead after being brought to hospital.

In the High Court Mr Flannery’s wife of 42 years, Eileen, submitted the wrongful death compensation action against her husband’s niece Laura Costello and her husband Declan Costello also of Kilkeeran, Ballinarobe, Co Mayo in relation to the accident that happened on September 11, 2015.

It was claimed there was a failure to have any proper or proper system of ventilation in place in the building. Along with it was alleged the house has been allegedly allowed to become toxic with carbon monoxide fumes and to constitute a serious hazard for those that entering the building. It was also alleged that there was a failure to cordon off the house while the generators were in use and until the place had been made safe for people to enter. Legal counsel for the defence refuted all of these claims.

The High Court was advised that, when the accident happened, the house was at first fix stage in construction and had an air tight test scheduled for that day. Before the test could be completed the house had to be heated and two fan heaters and an oil heater were put in situ. These heaters were powered by two petrol generators as electricity had not yet been turned on in the house. Both generators had been running for about an hour the night previous. They had been powered off during the night.

On the morning of September 11, 2015 the generators were turned back on. Mr Martin Flannery had checked in the generators at 10.30am and was due to check on them again after dropping his wife to town. However, when the air tight specialist arrived at the house to carry out the test at approximately 12.30pm he turned off one of the generators.

He noticed a strange smell and became dizzy as he went upstairs in the house and left it immediately. When he went back in he found Mr Flannery unconscious in a room at the back. He dragged him (Mr Flannery) outside tand attempted to revive him. However, Mr.Flannery was later pronounced dead when he was taken to hospital.

Justice Tom Cross gave his approval for the €170,000 settlement in the wrongful death compensation action.


Public Service Card Data Breach Likely to Result in Compensation Claims

Following revelations that the manner that data was collected during the issuing of Public Services Cards (PSC) was illegal, it appears that there is a good chance that compensation claims will be submitted against the State.

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has released a report which reveals that the retention of information gathered during the application process was not legal, along with the obligation on the general public to have the card in order to receive certain State services and benefits.

There are already a number of civil society organisations groups who are said to be looking at putting together a class-action style case.When the card was introduced advocacy groups such as Digital Rights Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Age Action were vociferous with their opposition to it.

After the DPC investigation it was ruled that the operation of the PSC scheme does not adhere with the transparency obligations of data protection legislation due to the inadequate nature of information given, by Department of Social Welfare, to those individuals who were having their data processed. The outcome of this is that the kept in relation to over three million card holders must now be deleted and data processing by the Department, rather that the public body providing the service, must be brought to an end. These tasks must be finished within the outlined timeline or some enforcement measures may be applied against those to blame.

The DPC released a statement which said “Ultimately, we were struck by the extent to which the scheme, as implemented in practice, is far-removed from its original concept,” the DPC said in a statement published on its website. Whereas the scheme was conceived as one that would make it easier to access (and deliver) public services, with chip-and-pin type cards being used for actual card-based transactions, the true position is that no public sector body has invested in the technology capable of reading the chip that contains the encrypted elements of the Public Sector Identity dataset. Instead, the card has been reduced to a limited form of photo-ID, for which alternative uses have then had to be found.”

The card was first launched during 2011 in order to help out with the processing of social welfare payments. After this, it was necessary for a number of other services including first-time adult passport applicants, replacement of lost, stolen or badly-damaged passports issued before January 2005, where the person is living in the State, citizenship applications, driving test and driver licence appointments.

In relation to the PSC, Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said: “Any cards that have been issued, their validity is not in question by anything we’ve found in this report. They can continue to be used in the context of availing of free travel or availing of benefits that a person is claiming from the department. She went on to say that this does not mean that it is impossible to issue a single card, or possibly a national identity card that can be used for all interactions with the state.  She said: “No, we’re not saying that at all. We’re saying that if that’s what’s intended or required, there isn’t a lawful basis [as currently set up]. It can’t be the case that a national identity card automatically offends EU charter fundamental rights or EU data protection law because they exist all around Europe. It is a possibility, by carefully laying down the lawful basis for such a card.”

Ms Dixon has asked the Department to publish the report of the investigation in the Public Services Card.




Girl (7) Awarded €35,000 Creche Abuse Compensation

A 7-year-old girl who was filmed in 2013 attempting to walk as she was tied into a chair and left unattended to cry during nap time has been awarded €35,000.

Emily Martin was recorded as part of RTE’s first undercover creche expose, She sued Giraffe Childcare and the Health Service Executive (HSE) via her father Jonathan Martin. Emily, from Sandyford, was only 21 months old when the Prime Time documentary was aired in May 2013.

Judge Garrett Simons was informed that Emily had been int he care of the Giraffe Creche at Belarmine Copse, Enniskerry Road, Stepaside, Dublin from the time that she was eight months old. She was moved into into the ‘wobbler room’ shortly after her first birthday. Emily parent’s told the judge that they had reviewed the promotional literature regarding the ‘premium nature’ of the service available in choosing the creché in question.

However, in 2013, an undercover RTE journalist took up a role at the creche, as a childcare worker, and secretly filmed the daily practices for some six weeks. When the footage was aired on May 28, 2013 and showed many of the children being badly treated or handled. These inflicted serious trauma and the children attending the creche.

Emily’s parents informed the judge that they were extremely distressed when they viewed the documentary footage which showed their child tied to a chair and crying holding her toy horse during nap time.

legal representative for Emily and her parents informed the court that she (Emily) was told to ‘go asleep’ over and over again, and that a creche worker threatened her. When the RTE worker attempted to comfort Emily as she was crying, she was told to ‘leave her cry’. Her parents withdrew Emily from the care at the creche upon viewing the documentary.

After Emily moved to the wobbler room, her parents informed the court, she began started having trouble sleeping and would often become angry and would shout. After she was taken away from the the creche this behaviour abated.

It was claimed that the creche had failed to put in place proper precautions for Emily’s safety, had restrained children in chairs in an improper manner and had attempted to put them to sleep in an inappropriate fashion. It was also alleged that the creche management had failed to supervise or train staff properly.

A separate claim taken by the family said that the HSE had not made sure that the creche complied with all child care regulations.

Judge Simons said he was happy to approve the settlement that he was told the defendants had offer, which included meeting the costs of the creche abuse compensation action.


Legal Cases likely for Hyde and Seek Creche Mismanagement

Child Protection Agency Tusla has revealed that its Social Work Unit is working with the Garda Child Protection Unit at Mountjoy Garda to open an investigation following the revelations uncovered by RTÉ Investigates into standards of care at the Hyde & Seek Childcare chain. Legal cases are a  likely outcome from these investigations.

Tusla has obtained a copy of the secretly filmed television footage from RTE. This footage shows mistreatment and emotional abuse of children by the Hyde and Seek company, among a range of other discrepancies including staff to children ratios, no Garda vetting for new staff before employment commences, poor standards of food and insufficient space allowed between cots for sleep to be properly supervised. Tusla has now handed the tape over to the Gardaí.

Gardaí in two Dublin stations are asking any parents or guardians who have complaints to contact them at Mountjoy Garda Station as they seek to investigate operations at the Hyde and Seek crechés. In a separate enquiry, Gardaí based in Mountjoy are investigating an alleged assault on a young girl at one of the crèches which is thought to have occurred earlier this month. No arrests have yet been made in this case.

Yesterday Tusla announced that it has already initiated official enforcement proceedings against the Hyde and Seek. The owner of Hyde & Seek, Anne Davy, was removed from any frontline activity for the company ahead of the RTE Investigates programme being aired on Tuesday evening (July 24).  The Hyde and Seek Childcare group released a statement on Ms Davy, saying that “in recent months she has occasionally fallen below the standards of our behavioural management policy”. It went on to say that Davy had dealt with children in a manner which was “short, rather than simply direct”.

During the RTE programme Davy is recorded placing children on their stomachs to put them to sleep at one of the chain’s creches and advised one of the undercover reporters that: “This is a business, it’s not a babysitting [facility].” She was also recorded covering a baby’s eyes and she (Davy) blocked the child’s vision despite her hand being pushed away by the child. On another occasion she is shown holding another child down on its stomach for a number of minutes to try and get it to go to sleep. Davy offered to show one of the undercover reporters how to use this as an effective manner of encouraging the children in their care to sleep.

Davy was previously convicted in 2004 following an incident when her staff a North Dublin crechés. left a three-year-old boy on his own at a nearby playground after they had returned to the creché with the other children in their care. Subsequent to this, in 2007, she was convicted for breaking child care regulations such as inadequate child to adult ratios and failing to maintain adequate records. During these years, the company changed name on three occasions.

A group representing parents of the children that attended Hyde & Seek creches revealed their devastation and sorrow at what was revealed in the RTE programme and criticised Tusla for not providing the framework within which regulation breaches could not occur. It read: “Our trust has been betrayed. We call on all parties concerned to immediately address how this happened, and to credibly explain how they will make amends. It appears the current oversight system, even when it detects breaches, is inadequate to ensure the same, similar, or more serious breaches do not occur again.”

In a separate statement released yesterday Tusla said: “We recognise and share the serious concerns the programme raises about the quality of care within these crèches, but more importantly the impact of concerning adult behaviours on children. We have been proactively addressing areas of non-compliance with regulations in these crèches since 2018.”

Concerned parent can contact Mountjoy Garda Station on 01 666 8600.






Starbucks Injury Compensation Award of €85k Award to Girl (16)

A 12-year-old girl who suffered serious burns after hot tea she was carrying under her elbow in a takeawat in a Starbucks spilled on her has settled a High Court action over the accident for €85,000.

Demi Mooney had gone to the coffee shop on Henry Street in Dublin with her grandmother on December 21, 2014, the High Court was told. Ms Mooney’s Legal Counsel, Michael Byrne SC, told the High Court that Demi, who is now 16-years-old, had purchased a cup of tea, a large cookie and a frappuccino. She was carrying the coffee in her left hand, the cookie in her right and the tea between her elbow and ribs when the tea spilled on her, Judge Garrett Simons was told.

Mr Byrne said: “The top of the tea cup shot off, and Demi suffered significant burns and scarring to her forearm.’ He said that liability for the accident had been fully contested in the case”.

In her action, brought on her behalf by her mother, Siobhan Mooney, it was was claimed that she should have been provided with a tray for the hot drinks, particularly as she was a child. However the defendant argues as to whether Demi had been offered a tray to carry the drinks on. Mr Byrne told the High Court: “‘They said she was, she said she was not. But the rule for Starbucks is that you should not give children hot drinks without a tray.”

Mr Byrne informed the Judge that a Starbuck Injury Compensation settlement offer of €85,000 had been made by the defendant. Hwent on to say that, if the case proceeded to a full hearing, there was a chance that a judge could find Demi between 20pc and 25pc responsible for the accident due to contributory negligence.

Judge Simons was informed that Demi was provided with medical assistance, directly after the accident, from a nurse and doctor who were on the premises on the time and they applied a spray to treat the burn. She wa taken to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where she received medical treatments in the Plastics Clinic as well as for occupational therapy.

Demi, Mr Byrne, told the High Court had been left with very significant scarring on her right forearm, which was smooth but obvious, and would be permanent. He added that the plastic surgeon Demi decided not to do any more to minimise the scars, for fear of making them worse. Due to the injuries she suffered, Demi, now has to be careful what clothes she wears, being very careful to wear long sleeves when out in the sun.

Mr Byrne said the book of quantum gave a guide figure of between €75,000 and €90,000 in personal injury compensation for scarring. He added that, as the scars were not on her face, Mr Byrne believed the €85,000, plus legal costs, offered by the defendant, cafe owner Colfee Unlimited Company, was a satisfactory compensation figure.

Mr Justice Simons was satisfied to approve the offer as it would come very close to what a judge might decide the case was worth if successful at trial. The Starbucks Injury Compensation will  be paid into court until Demi turns 18-years-old.


Young Girl Awarded Compensation due to Cuts Suffered in School Accident

A four-year-old girl who suffered a six centimetre cut to her leg from due to an accident that involved a school bench with a protruding rusty nail has been awarded personal injury compensation €22,500 by Justice Raymond Groarke in the Circuit Civil Court.

Circuit Court President Judge Raymond Groarke heard that Kaoise McNamara, who had an address at Edenmore Avenue, Raheny had taken the school accident compensation action against St Eithne’s National School and St Monica’s Infant Girl’s School for €60,000 damages for personal injuries arising she suffered in the school yard accident that occurred on June 30th, 2008.

Mark O’ Connell, legal representatives for Kaoise, advise Justice Groarke that his client had sustained injuries due to a lateral cut to the rear of her right leg below her knee. He said the nail had been concealed at the back of the bench.

15-year-old Kaoise was brought to a nearby hospital where she had was given a tetanus injection and had her wound cleaned out. The medical team tending to her applied sutures as there had been considerable bleeding. The young girl was also given a prescription of painkillers before being discharged and allowed to return home.

The court heard that when Kaoise, who took the school personal injury accident action via her mother Linda Forristal, was ten years of age before she had become conscious of how the scar appeared to those around here. The court was advised that the young girl was, from that age, conscious of the scar on occasions such as when she was participating in sporting events and also during social occasions. Judge Groarke was informed that, on most occasions like this, Kaoise took the decision to make an attempt to conceal or cover up the cut using trousers or high knee-socks.

Judge Groarke approved the school yard compensation action settlement offer of €22,500 for the young girl.


Garda Sergeant Awarded €290,000 for Work Knee Injury

A €290,000 work injury compensation settlement has been awarded to Sergeant Donal Cronin who sustained a knee injury during a violent struggle with a prisoner.

Garda Cronin (50) was unable to carry out full policing duties due to his knee injury and end up missing out on possible promotions due to this. The overall figure awarded to the garda was  €286,630 due to incident that occurred when he was involved in the struggle that took place at Limerick Circuit Court on July 9, 2004.

The court was informed Sargeant Cronin had passed examinations required for promotion to the rank of inspector with distinction in 2001. Despite this he was overlooked in both rounds of promotion interview board competitions in 2010 and in 2014.

The court was informed that the Garda was eventually appointed to the role of court presenter. A position that he could carry out despite the difficulties he had due to the injuries he suffered in the struggle.

Sergeant Cronin’s legal representatives alleged that the basis for overlooking his promotion qualifications was the injuries. In addition to this they advised the Judge that he would probably need an operation for a knee replacement within the coming two years.

Among those who gave evidence was a retired chief superintendent said the score Sergeant Cronin had achieved from the interview board for promotion was excellent but the system was “unfit for purpose” as it did not make take into account when a candidate was suffering from a disability.

Refuting the claims on behalf the minister for finance and public expenditure, a sergeant garda said there was no solid reasoning to claim that the injuries suffered on duty were an obstacle to the promotion to the rank of inspector.

He went on to say that it was not uncommon for a candidate coming from an administrative post without major operational frontline experience to be appointed to the post of inspector and that said the promotion procedure was heavily regulated. The interview board could not see a candidate’s medical records as part of the process. He added that just four of 17 sergeants in the Limerick division were successful in their application for promotion to inspector, two of which were for administrative positions.

An estimated figure for Sergeants Cronin’s compensation including future loss of income due to missing out on promotion of €166,630 was provided to the court. In addition to this he was awarded him another €120,000 in general damages due to the serious injury his suffered to his left knee that resulted in physical disability and ongoing pain and discomfort.

Justice Bernard Barton said he was satisfied that if Sgt Cronin reapplied for promotion, his injuries would not be an impediment “to a successful outcome”.


Ryanair Accident Compensation of €150k for Girl (8) after Spilled Hot Chocolate Accident

A Ryanair Accident compensation claim against, in relation to an eight-year-old girl who suffered second-degree scald burns when hot chocolate fell on her, has been settled for an approved award of €150,000 at the High Court.

The girl in question, American Sriya Venkata Neti, was travelling on a flight from Rome to Krakow with her parents when the hot liquid and the paper cup slipped over her as she tried to take a drink of the hot chocolate.

Sriya submitted the personal injury compensation action against Ryanair through her father Srinivas Neti in relation to the accident that happened on the Rome to Krakow flight on June 25, 2016.

The court was told that she sustained burns to her thighs and buttocks along with some other scarring. Her father, Srinivas, submitted an affidavit to the court, which said that the scarring has now almost healed completely. He also told the Judge that his daughter has made a good recovery and her injuries have much improved.

Sriya’s legal counsel Mr Hugh Mohan SC advised the judge that the girl sustained serious burns.  A medical report handed in to the court said the hot liquid came together on the seat causing extreme burning pain and the child’s mother had to release the child from her safety belt on the seat and her clothing had to be stripped off to stop further burns. Her mother said that daughter’s skin was gone from where the liquid landed on her and blisters formed elsewhere.

After arriving in Krakow the girl was brought to a hospital for further treatment before being transferred to Toronto, Canada where she spent eight days receiving further treatment as an outpatient before she was allowed to return home to California.

in the personal injury action it was claimed that the cabin crew failed to take steps that would have resulted in the burns suffered being worse than they initially would have been. In particular, it was claimed that there was no steps taken to try and cool the burns. Ryanair refuted the allegations that were made in the personal injury action.

Justice Justice Kevin Cross, in approving the  Ryanair accident compensation settlement, told the Court that it must have been extremely painful when Sriya was scalded and also said at the young girl has also been left with bad wounds scarring despite making a good recovery so far.



€60k Caesarean Section Injury Compensation Sought by 15-year-old Boy

A 15-year-old boy who claims that he sustained a wound to his face during when his mother was undergoing a Cesarean section has submitted a €60,000 birth injury compensation action against the master of the National Maternity Hospital and Dr Stephen Carroll, the surgeon who carried out the procedure.

The boy in question, Rory Saunders and his mother Noeleen Saunders, of Silchester Park, Glenageary, told Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke through his legal representative barrister Mark O’Connell  that his cheek was cut at the time during the delivery.

Mr O’Connell told Justice Groarke that the Cesarean section compensation action was due to the consequences of the actions that were taken during Rory’s birth on September 9, 2003. The scalpel used in the clinical procedure by Dr Carroll cut Rory’s left cheek. Once the birth was completed the wound was cleaned and Steri-Strips were put in place.

There is now a permanent 2.5cm scar on Rory’s cheek, which is visible to anyone standing close to him. The wound, Judge Groarke was advised, is more visible during the summer months. In addition to this, the scar has become a source of stress for Rory after he had been on the receiving end of negative teasing and mocking at school and among his friends.

The claims in relation to medical negligence were denied by Dr Carroll, who is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and a specialist in high-risk pregnancies, and the National Maternity Hospital. Plastic surgeon Matt McHugh said that they were of the opinion that the wound was not going to improve in the future.

Judge Groarke was given the medical reports of two eminent consultants into court and was also informed that a birth injury compensation offer of €25,000 had been made.

Judge Groarke said he was not happy with the medical negligence compensation offer before the court and added that one medical report appeared to give “a very blunt view” on the matter. He felt the specialist in question, who had not seen his colleague’s medical report before providing an opinion, should be asked to look over the other medical report to see if there was any new information for him to consider.

The hearing was adjourned until the medical reports had been reconsidered by their both parties.


€30,00 restaurant Accident Compensation for Girl (3) Injured by Table Blown in the Wind

Following suffering a broken nose when a table blew over outside a restaurant, a three-year-old girl has been awarded €30,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Legal representative for Lily Spratt, who is now five years old, Barrister Ivan Daly said that she had been injured when a table in an outdoors seating area hit her face after being blown in the wind outside an O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar, at Lower Grand Canal Street, Dublin.

Mr Daly told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that the girl was treated, following the accident, at Temple Street Children’s Hospital where her nose had been repaired. During the procedure Lily had been place under general anaesthetic.

The restaurant injury compensation action was taken against Adleo Limited through Lily’s mother, Emma Kelly, York Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Lily has since completely recovered from the injuries that she suffered in the accident that happened during April 2018.

Mr Daly told the court that the young girl had suffered no permanent damage to her nose. He said: “Certainly there is no question of any disfigurement of her nose.” he was recommending that the court accept the settlement offer that was being made by Adleo Ltd.

Presiding Judge Judge Groarke gave his approval to the restaurant accident compensation settlement as he thought it to be a very good offer.


Car Accident Compensation of €75,000 Awarded to Taxi Driver

Dolores McMahon, a 57-year old, take driver, has been awarded just under €75,000 car accident compensation at the Circuit Court following two different accidents she her taxi was written off.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said in court that she, Ms McMahon, had displayed admirable courage for going back to work as a taxi driver despite being badly injured in both collisions. Ms McMahon had seen her taxi damaged beyond repair on both occasions and she was awarded personal injury compensation in relation to for her suffering, loss of income as well a compensation for two written off automobiles.

Judge Groarke commented: “This is a lady who was very genuinely and very badly affected psychologically and has suffered quite extensive physical injuries.”

Representing Ms McMahon in Court, Caitriona O’Reilly advised the Justice Roarke that her client had experienced neck and shoulder injuries in the first road traffic accident that took place on December 14 2014. She then experienced a lower back injury in a second road traffic accident that occurred on July 14 2016. Ms O’Reilly added that, on both occasion, the other driver involved had driven into the path of Ms McMahon’s vehicle and later admitted liability.  The accidents that occurred at Old Airport Road, Santry, and Balheary Road, Sword

The personal injury was back before the Circuit Civil Court only for a final assessment of damages in Ms McMahon’s case against the other drivers – Mr Arthur Oliver Ryan and Martin Mann.

Judge Groarke said that he was aware that, following periods of rehabilitation after both incidents, Ms McMahon went back to her taxi driver occupation despite having been nervous.

He awarded Ms McMahon €74,912 road traffic accident compensation,  €46,468 from the first accident and €28,444 from the second crash.


Creche Fall Compensation of €52k Award to Boy (9) Who Broke Thigh Bone

A nine-year-old schoolboy who fractured a bone in his leg at a creche in 2014 was awarded €52,600 creche fall compensation against its the operators of the establishment.

Barrister Ronan Quinn, representing for Ms Andrea Geraghty and her Cillian, from Airpark Court, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, said Cillian was with a group of children taken to the washroom to use the facilities on September 17, 2013, just days after his fourth birthday.

Mr Quinn, who was appearing in court along with Joe Clancy Solicitors, informed the court that Cillian broke a thigh bone due to fall and was restricted in his movement confined for some weeks at home in a right hip spica cast. Andrea told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that a light was suddenly switched off and on which startled Cillian and fell in the washroom at the creche.

Cillian was taken to Crumlin Hospital on the day of the accident for treatment. Physicians at the children’s hospital decided to keep the boy in overnight before he underwent surgery the following day.

Mr Quinn informed the court said that, after initial treatment and care, Dr Paula Kelly, consultant orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon at the Beacon Consultants Clinic, Sandyford, Dublin, recorded a 0.5mm length discrepancy between Cillian’s right leg and his left. However she later noted that this had resolved during subsequent examinations.

Ms Geraghty advised the court through an affidavit that the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PAIB) had suggested a creche fall compensation award €32,000 for Cillian’s injury. However, she was not happy to accept this. Due to this more settlement negotiations were held between all parties involved and RSA Insurance, on behalf of the creche, had made an new compensation offer of €50,000.

Ms Gerathy told the court that the family had also had to repay a figure of €2,000 to their private health insurers.

Judge Groarke, who said he was happy from Ms Geraghty’s assurances to the court that Cillian had been fully rehabilitated after the accident. He approved the creche fall compensation settlement terms of €52,600.


Mother who was Assaulted by Ex Awarded €150,000 Injury Compensation

A mother of two has been awarded €150,000 in personal injury compensation at the High Court after she was attacked by her former partner, and father of her two children.

Jonathan McSherry (36), formerly of Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin, was sentenced to three and a half years for the attack on Jessica Bowes. He was released after 22 months of the sentence. Mr McSherry admitted that he broke nearly every bone in Ms Bowes face and kicked her a number of times during a assault in December 2015.

The former soldier said sorry to Ms Bowes and her civil action was being heard by the High Court for a final assessment of damages. He (McSherry) attacked Ms Bowes after she arrived at her Clondalkin home in a taxi from a Christmas night out on December 20, 2015, to find him waiting there. Security camera footage of the attack showed McSherry dragging Ms Bowes from the taxi, punching, kicking and dragging her along the ground. She lost consciousness twice in the attack which lasted over one minute and a half before she managed to escape into a closeby house.

Speaking after the award was revealed, Ms Bowes said she hopes the ruling and compensation award will lead to more and more victims of domestic violence to come forward and taking legal actions.

She said: “I hope this will act as a deterrent, that people will realise there are possible large financial consequences as well as the threat of prison for this sort of violence. I’ve already had people write to me about it. One woman sent me a letter and a holy medal on Tuesday thanking me for my courage and asking me to pray for her so that she could find courage to tell the truth too. “She went to the bother of writing the letter, getting a stamp and posting it”.

“I was very upset for her and I will pray for her. She signed the letter ‘an old lady’, and it shows this can happen to anyone from any background. I just hope now that with International Women’s Day coming tomorrow, women everywhere will find the courage to speak out” Ms Bowes added.

She finished saying: “I hope women young and old will that find strength. It’s important for women to realise help is there for them – from places like Women’s Aid – [and] that legal advice and professional help is available.”

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said that she believed that Ms Bowes’ account was genuine and factually correct. The judge added that this was an extremely serious case that led to the woman suffering from difficulties which were ongoing and permanent.

The judge said that it was also recorded that Mr McSherry’s admissions and apology for the attack did not come immediately. Additionally it was stated that it was not the function of the civil court to punish the defendant but rather to assess the appropriate damages.However, the judge also recognised the steps that McSherry had taken to rehabilitate himself, but did not reduce the amount of compensatory damages that Ms Bowes was to be awarded.

The Judge deemed a personal injury compensation award of €150,000 appropriate given the circumstances.


€38k Attack at Work Compensation Award for Garda

A garda, who was knocked out in a savage attack by a gang of thugs, was awarded €38,500 attack at work compensation after he was left with significant injuries.

A High Court judge was told Detective Garda Brian Dunne managed to save a dislodged tooth by pushing it back up into his gum after he recovered consciousness.

The Garda informed presiding Judge Justice Tony O’Connor he will always remember the pain of pushing his upper right front tooth back into his gum socket. He went on to say that he was told by a dental specialist that this was the correct course of action.

The injury compensation hearing was told that that attack took place just before Christmas 2006 when the uniformed community garda, who was based at Ballymun Garda Station, had been assaulted by a group of six young men as they were on their way with drinks to a party.

Judge O’Connor said they could only be referred to as ‘thugs’ who had carried out a savage attack on Garda Dunne. The judge was told that the garda had been punched, knocked to the ground, and had a bottle smashed into his face. Following this he had been kicked repeatedly in the head and body until he eventually lost consciousness.

Colleagues of Detective Garda Dunne came to the scene and then on to the Mater Hospital by ambulance. Here he was treated for his injuries. Garda Dunne said: “I suffered a very bad gash to my mouth and to the back of my head and I learned that some of my teeth had been pushed backwards. At the scene when I recovered I had pushed a dislodged front tooth back into my gum. Another one of my teeth had been broken.”

He told the court he had to receive four stitches to one side of his mouth and five to the other side. On the inside of his mouth he had 14 stitches inserted. The gash on the back of his head had been brought together with glue.

Speaking about the pain that he suffered, Detective Garda Dunne said his teeth had been really painful and he required root canal work. Along with this, his body was bruised and he had a shoulder injury. Following having his dental injuries dealt with he was required to attend review appointments over the following five years. These reviews showed that the dislodged tooth had never fully come back into line after the attack.

The Garda told the Court that he had been absent from work for about six weeks in the aftermath of the attack. He said that he returned to work quickly as he had been due for promotion to detective at the time. He is of the opinion that he had probably gone back to work “too early.”

Legal representative for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform barrister Joseph O’Sullivan was informed by Detective Garda Dunne was now back to full duties within three months of the incident. His recovery has been good and he has returned to playing football for his local club, though he still suffers from an occasional niggle him while active.

Judge O’Connor said he had sustained significant injuries in the incident and had been left with a noticeable scar at the side of his mouth. He awarded Detective. Garda Dunne €38,500 injury at work compensation.


Work Injury Compensation €40,000 After Garda Squad Car Attack

At the High Court a work injury compensation award of just under €40,000 has been approved for a 36-year-old garda who was attacked by a woman in a squad car.

Judge Justice Tony O’Connor said at the High Court Garda Compensation hearing that Garda Sinead McBride, a mother of two, had suffered post-traumatic rotator-cup tendonitis in her left shoulder after the incident and experienced pain for three years and still felt occasional twinges over seven years later.

Legal counsel for Garda McBride informed the court Garda McBride had been kicked in the shoulder by “an aggressive and abusive” woman while she was being apprehended in connection with a disturbance at a family residence in August 2011.

Garda McBride told Judge O’Connor she had been driving the squad car that the arrested woman had been in the back in the aftermath of the arrest. The woman kicked her in the back of her left shoulder without any warning.

Garda McBride was taken to her GP and Letterkenny University Hospital to have her soft tissue injuries and also underwent a course of physiotherapy. She was absent from work for some time before returning to light duties for a period despite having movement restrictions and discomfort in her shoulder and neck. She told the court that she still has some find it uncomfortable to tend to her children and that the pain returns a number of times every so often.

When she was pregnant with her two children, Garda McBride had been unable to use any painkillers. She is now pregnant with her third child and will, once again, be unable to use painkillers. Along with this she has undergone almost 20 sessions of physiotherapy at a cost over around €4,000.

Judge O’Connor informed the Court that he felt Garda McBride was a genuine witness and did not seek to overemphasise the extent of her injuries following the attack.


Woman Settles with Marks and Spencer after Alleged ‘Superman’ fall in Aisle

A personal injury compensation action has been settled in the High Court Marks and Spencer (Ireland) and a woman who claims she  fractured her leg when a Marks and Spencer staff member came off a step ladder and knocked her over.

Loretta McSherry (64) Cremore, Templeogue, Dublin told the High Court that she was in the Marks and Spencer branch located at Dundrum Shopping Centre to purchase some ready made meals. When she was walking through the bakery section the accident occurred.

She said: “I looked at some scones but thought they looked stale and decided not to buy. I gave the step ladder a wide berth, I was not aware of anybody on the ladder. I was struck in the shoulder as I walked past. It was like my Superman moment, I flew forward.”

Ms McSherry informed the Judge that the pain she experienced was the worst she had ever suffered and resulted in her rolling along the ground. The physicians that treated her said that she had fractured her thigh bone in a manner consistent with a high-speed car accident.

Ms McSherry, an IT systems analyst, had taken the personal injury compensation action against Marks and Spencer (Ireland) Ltd, with offices at Mary Street, Dublin due to the accident that occurred on January 4, 2014 at the Dundrum Shopping Centre branch.

She alleged that Mark and Spencer staff had not made sure that the shopping aisle was safe for the use of customers and an alleged failure to have any regard for her safety had also taken place. She went on to say that a Marks and Spencer employee was allegedly allowed to use a step ladder for restocking without any help. Finally, she said there was a failure to cordon off or prevent customers from coming in close proximity with the step ladder in question.

Marks and Spencer refuted the allegations and contended there was contributory negligence on Ms McSherry’s part for allegedly failing pay adequate attention to her surroundings.



64-year-old Librarian Awarded €60k Car Accident Compensation following Monkstown Crash

A €60,000 car accident compensation settlement has been agreed at the Circuit Civil Court between a 64-year-old librarian and the former Bank of Ireland Governor Laurence Crowley in relation to a car crash that occurred in August 2015.

The librarian, Mr Richard Barrett with an address at The Turrets, Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin, filed the car accident compensation claim against Mr Crowley and O’Flaherty Holdings Limited, the registered owners of the car, for injuries he sustained in the road traffic accident at Monkstown Crescent, Dublin.

There was also a claim, made by Mr Barrett, that Mr Crowley had been driving the car – a Mercedes 300 – in a negligent manner. Mr Barrett’s legal counsel Barrister Ivan Daly, appearing with HJ Ward Solicitors, advised presiding Judge Justice Raymond Groarke that the case had been settled and could be struck out with an order for costs. This was following the case being reduced to an assessment of damages after an admission of liability by the defendants.

During the hearing Mr Barrett alleged that on August 29 2015 he was a front seat passenger in a vehicle when a Mercedes car, emerging from a minor road, crashed into the car he was a passenger in. He told the court that he was of the opinion that the Mercedes in question was being driven at an excessive speed and that the driver had not displayed an acceptable level of awareness regarding his surroundings.

Mr Crowley was not present in the Circuit Civil Court for the hearing which was due to hear Mr Barrett’s testimony in relation to the injuries he suffered and the medical reports produced regarding them.

Mr Barrett advised Justice Groarke that he had been shocked and distressed following the accident. He was taken to the emergency department of St Vincent’s University Hospital where he was treated by Mr Nigel Salter, consultant in emergency medicine. He (Mr Barrett) informed the Judge that he had not sustained any bone or internal injuries. However, he had been prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain-killing medication for injuries to his chest and abdomen.

Mr Barrett, who had a background history of anxiety disorder, had suffered a severe panic attack followed by a number of similar  episodes after the accident.



€30k Compensation after 16-year-old Girl Finds Glass in Jar of Nutella

A teenage student has been awarded more than €30,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court in relation to an incident in which, she alleges, she swallowed a chocolate spread that had miniscule shards of glass in it.

The girl, 16-year-old Jamie Lee McAdam, took the product injury compensation action through her mother Natasha, against Ferrero UK Limited, Greenford, England, producers of branded chocolate and confectionary product Nutella.

Presiding Judge Justice Groarke was informed that the incident had changed Jamie Lee’s eating habits and she had lost some weight along with recurring episodes of abdominal pain that she experienced. Barrister William Binchy, counsel for Jamie Lee, told the Judge that she had been offered a personal injury compensation settlement of €31,600 by the defendant. Mr Binchy was recommending that it be approved by the court.

Mr Binchy, told the court that Jamie Lee had been injured after consuming Nutella spread over a bagel that her mother had prepared for her. While investigating Jamie Lee’s injury her family discovered there were numerous pieces of glass in the Nutella that remained in the bottom of the jar.

The Nutella in question had been produced in the United Kingdom by Ferrero and bought in a sealed jar in an Irish grocer. Mr Binchy said Jamie Lee had become worried in the hours following the event when she started to suffer stomach pains. Her mother had called Temple Street Children’s Hospital and had been advised by staff to bring her daughter to the hospital to be seen.

She had been attended to by a Doctor and x-rays were conducted but no fragments of glass were found and she had been sent home without any further treatment being administered. Jamie Lee was unable to remain in school the next day as she was suffering from further pain. The following day she had experienced pains in her stomach and had to go home from school.

Judge Groarke approved the offer which will remain in court funds until Jamie Lee’s 18th birthday.