Sunday 25 September 2016

Drinking pals withdraw claims in 'set-up' crash

Ray Managh

Published 10/05/2016 | 02:30

Injury claims: Darren Mulhall. Photo: Coillins Courts
Injury claims: Darren Mulhall. Photo: Coillins Courts

A group of drinking pals dramatically withdrew personal injury claims relating to a rear-ending accident that a judge described as "a clear set-up".

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The group could have pocketed damages of €300,000 against the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).

Barrister for the MIBI, Paul Murray, told Darren Mulhall (41) that the MIBI had traced the history of the car used in the crash and found it belonged to a close relative of one of his friends involved in the scam.

"This was no coincidence...This was pure and simple a set-up," Mr Murray said.

Mr Murray told Mr Mulhall that he and his drinking friends had called a taxi and lured the driver into a set-up crash. He said they were found "still moaning and groaning" in the taxi when the emergency services arrived. All of the claimants complained of back injuries.

Mr Murray told Mr Mulhall that neither he nor any of his friends could identify the Toyota car that had crashed into the back of the taxi.

Mr Mulhall, of Rutland Cottages, Lower Rutland Street, Dublin, said he knew nothing about two men from the Toyota going to the taxi and allegedly asking everyone if they were all right. He said the accident happened in Tallaght after he and five friends left a pub on March 13, 2013, and the car that rear-ended them had never been traced.

Mr Murray said the taxi driver returned to the scene the following day and photographed the Toyota, which lay abandoned just yards away.

"Investigations revealed it had been sold only days before the crash to either the father or stepfather of Gerard Black, Killarney Court, Dublin, who was in the taxi with you and who has already withdrawn his claim," Mr Murray told Mr Mulhall. Mr Mulhall told Mr Murray his theory of a set-up sounded "very convincing" but he knew nothing about it.

Following an adjournment, Mr Murray told Judge Jacqueline Linnane he was consenting to having Mr Mulhall's case dismissed with no further order. He added the connected cases of Alan O'Brien, Shelmalier Road, East Wall; Anthony Dolan, Fairlawn Road, Finglas; Stephen O'Shaughnessy, Avonbeg Gardens, Tallaght; and Mark Carroll Hart, Portland Row, North Strand, had also all been withdrawn.

Striking out the cases, Judge Linnane said: "It is clear these were a set-up."

Irish Independent

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