A GIRL will get €200,000 in a High Court settlement after a crash involving a car driven by her drunk mother, which claimed the life of her sister and friend.
Faith Varden-Carberry was seven years old when her mother, Mary Carberry (36), crashed into an embankment outside Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, in November 2007.
Ms Carberry, who was an alcoholic, got so drunk on the day of the crash she had earlier "blacked out". She was also banned from driving at the time because of a previous crash.
Faith, who is now 12, was seriously injured and her sister Ava (6) and her friend Michaela Logan were killed.
Ms Carberry was later sentenced to six years' imprisonment, with two years suspended.
Faith sued her mother and her father, Thomas Varden, as owner of the vehicle, but the case against Mr Varden was later withdrawn.
Judgment had already been entered against her mother, meaning the only action remained against the Motor Insurer's Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). This is the body set up by the Government and the insurance industry to compensate victims of accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
In the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Charleton approved a €200,000 settlement of Faith's case against the MIBI.
The judge said in terms of what happened to Faith, nothing can ever compensate her, but he hoped the tragedy in her life was now finished and that she will do well.
Speaking directly to Faith, the judge said he was sorry for everything she had been through, but he was sure she would have a great future.
Faith, of Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes, Co Longford, but who now lives in Tuam, Co Galway, had sued through her grandfather Anthony Carberry, of St Mels Road, Longford.
It was claimed Faith suffered severe psychological trauma in circumstances where her sister had been killed in the accident.
Her counsel, John Finlay, told the court that it was a particularly sad accident.
Faith, who had been sitting in the back seat with her belt on, had to spend two months in a spinal cast.
Counsel said Faith had had a lot to deal with, as her mother was jailed. She was very resilient but she had suffered great grief.
She now lives with her step sister Marguerite Varden in Tuam, where she is in sixth class at school.
Mr Justice Charelton allowed €2,000 of the settlement to be paid out now to purchase a computer and printer for Faith.