Monday 29 December 2014

Concert-goer gets €75,000 after impaling arm on spike of gate

Tim Healy

Published 01/03/2014 | 02:30

Karen McCormack after she was awarded €75,000 damages following a High Court action for injuries she sustained after an Oasis concert at Slane in 2009. Pic: Collins
Karen McCormack after she was awarded €75,000 damages following a High Court action for injuries she sustained after an Oasis concert at Slane in 2009. Pic: Collins

A YOUNG woman whose arm became impaled on a spike when she climbed a gate following a concert in Slane Castle has been awarded €75,000 by the High Court.

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon said Karen McCormack (27) had been left with horrible scarring in the accident a few hours after an Oasis concert finished in June 2009.

The judge apportioned blame to Ms McCormack of 20pc for the accident after she climbed the four-metre high gate with spikes on top of it. The court heard the gate was originally designed to keep knights and soldiers out of the grounds during wartime.

Ms McCormack had sued the concert promoters MCD, which intends to appeal the award.

The judge granted a stay on the payout of the award providing there was an immediate payout of €45,000.

Ms McCormack, (27) formerly of Deerpark, Ashbourne, Co Meath and now living in Australia, sued MCD claiming there should have been signs warning people the Dublin Road gate – where she had entered – would be closed after the event.

MCD denied the claims and says there was contributory negligence on the part of Ms McCormack who took a "prohibited shortcut" and attempted to get over a locked gate.

MCD contended she passed three main exits before going down the woodland track to the Dublin Road gate.

In her judgment, Ms Justice O'Hanlon said not putting up signs about the Dublin Road gate being closed was ill-conceived. There should have been a person at the entrance to the woodland path leading to the gate and at the gate to alert people, she said.

The evidence was that the 600 security men had been stood down by 11.45pm and it was therefore easy to understand the situation Ms McCormack and her friends found themselves in at 1.30am, she said. What happened was entirely foreseeable, she said.

The judge also said Ms McCormack was not a five-year-old on a school trip and there was an issue of contributory negligence in relation to climbing the gate.

Irish Independent

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