Tuesday 27 June 2017

Devastated gran sues council over triple tragedy

Brian McDonald

A GRANDMOTHER will today hear the outcome of her five -year battle for justice following a devastating triple tragedy.

Mary Mahoney (56) sued Galway County Council following a road crash which claimed the lives of her daughter Yvonne (24) and her grand-daughter Bobbi-Ann (2).

Her daughter's partner, John Maloney (33), was also killed in the crash.

Mr Maloney was driving when his car emerged from a minor road on to a major road at Lodge Cross, Athenry, Co Galway, on July 9, 2006. It collided with another car and all three were killed instantly.

Mrs Mahoney, a widow from St Laurence's Fields, Loughrea, also sued the estate of the late John Maloney.

She sued for damages for mental distress suffered by her- self and all eight of her daughter's brothers and sisters.

The statement of claim alleged that the council failed to provide a clear view of the crossroads, failed to cut down, prune or trim the trees and hedges on the side of the road, and that the council failed to erect yield or stop signs at the junction.

The claim also alleged that Mr Maloney was negligent and in breach of his statutory duty by virtue of his driving on the day of the tragedy.

Talks

The case was due to be heard over a number of days at the High Court in Galway this week, but after a number of brief adjournments for talks yesterday, counsel for both the local authority and a nominee of the estate of Mr Maloney advised Mr Justice Michael Moriarty that they were withdrawing liability as an issue.

In the event, the only matter to be decided by the court was the assessment of damages.

Called to give evidence about her late daughter, Mrs Mahoney said that Yvonne was like a second mother to her children.

She was the eldest of her daughters. Mrs Mahoney told the court that her husband had died in 1997.

"She was a second mother to my children. She was always there for me, very outgoing, very jolly -- the best that anyone could have," she said.

Mrs Mahoney added: "When you lose a son or daughter, you're devastated. You're never right."

Her daughter Rosita (23) told the court that her big sister was always there to help her mother out.

"She would try and guide us and look out for us. She did a very good job", she said.

Judge Moriarty said that even from reading the court file, it was clearly a catastrophic case.

He will finalise the assessment of damages in court today.

Irish Independent

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