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Tipperary Women Fail In Damages Claims Made Against Tipperary Co. Co.

Two Tipperary women have lost separate High Court claims for damages, made against Tipperary County Council; over injuries they suffered getting out of a swing at a Tipperary playground.

Ms Sarah Kennedy, from Ballyknockane, Clogheen, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, and Ms Susan O’Mahoney, of Ballyvera, Goatenbridge, Ardfinnan, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, both sued over ankle injuries they had sustained on two separate occasions, (July 13th, 2016 and March 30th, 2016 respectively), while using a children’s “bird’s nest” style basket swing, in a community funded children’s playground, in the village of Newcastle, latter some 16km from Clonmel, in Co. Tipperary.

Dismissing both their cases, Mr Justice Michael Twomey found that there was no negligence or indeed breach of duty by Tipperary County Council; deciding the accidents were caused by two adults using equipment not in any way designed for use by adults. He said common sense would tell any adult they should not use a swing designed solely for use by children.

Mr Justice Twomey stated, that an “impecunious plaintiff” (Person who brings a case, having little or no money) with an “unmeritorious claim” (A claim lacking in value or merit) for a minor injury, and who is hoping for a settlement, might bring a claim in the higher court, for “economic reasons”.

Both women were acquaintances and the cases were heard together, as they both involved similar claims. Both ladies were seeking damages from the council at the High Court level of more than €60,000.

The judge said that even if the claims had merit, they should have been taken in the district court, and if there had been any entitlement to damages, a reasonable and proportionate award would have been settled between €5,000 and €7,000 in damages.

One is reminded of a similar incident, when a 43 year old Fine Gael TD, Ms Maria Bailey, sued The Dean Hotel in Dublin. Ms Bailey was holding items in both her hands while having her photo taken, causing her to fall out of a swing on the 5th floor in Sophie’s Bar.

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