Courts

Saturday 26 July 2014

Angry motorist watched by undercover gardai after ‘small crash’ loses damages claim

Ray Managh

Published 23/01/2013|14:55

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AN irate motorist, who got out to remonstrate with a woman driver after she "tipped" the back of his car, was unaware the incident was being watched by two undercover cops, a court heard today.

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One of them told the Circuit Civil Court that Patrick Flanagan, of Walkinstown Road, Dublin, had been “hostile, aggressive and intimidating” to schoolteacher Eilis O’Brien.



O’Brien (32) told the court she had been stopped behind Flanagan’s car at traffic lights in Walkinstown. Her foot had slipped off the clutch and her car had tipped into the back of his.



Judge Matthew Deery, dismissing a €38,000 damages claim by Flanagan against O’Brien, said Ms O’Brien and the two gardai involved had been unable to detect any damage to either car.



Awarding costs against Flanagan the judge told John Martin, counsel for Ms O’Brien, he was of the firm conclusion Mr Flanagan was trying to make a very large case out of an impact of little or no significance.



Mr Martin said Flanagan had accepted an €18,000 settlement for injuries he received in another rear ending incident in February 2010. He had recovered from those injuries in less than seven months despite his car having been driven 20 feet up the road.



Judge Deery said he was now claiming damages for ongoing injuries 18 months after an incident in June 2011 which Ms O’Brien and two gardai described as very slight and which had caused no damage.



Ms O’Brien, of Inchicore, Dublin, said Flanagan was upset and angry. She was frightened because he was shouting and intimidating her. When the gardai got out of their unmarked car they told him to “back off a little.”



He had suddenly fallen to the ground on his knees complaining of pain in his back.



Flanagan (33) an unemployed labourer, claimed he had been “violently thrown forwards and backwards by the impact” which had injured his lower back.



Judge Deery said a Robert Doyle of Robert Doyle Construction Ltd., Rathgar, Dublin, who had provided a letter for Mr Flanagan relating to loss of work opportunity as a result of the accident had turned out to be married to his sister.

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