Gardener awarded €60,000 after breaking ankle on makeshift gate
A MAN who broke his ankle after climbing a makeshift gate blocking a pathway to a river where he had been fishing has been awarded €60,000 by the High Court.
Christopher Brien had not been able to return to his fishing hobby for nearly a year after the accident as he tried to leave a path near the Dargle River, Bray, Co Wicklow, the court heard.
Mr Brien, a landscape gardener from Greenpark Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, had sued SIAC Construction Ltd, Clondalkin, Dublin who are in examinership.
He claimed SIAC were negligent in allowing the public right of way to be blocked by a makeshift wooden gate. There was also a failure to provide a gate which was capable of being opened and closed, it was claimed.
He further claimed there was a failure on the night of the accident, July 8, 2013, to give advance warning that the public right-of-way was blocked.
The court was told that judgment had already been given against SIAC and it was before the court for assessment of damages only.
Mr Brien told the court he had gone night fishing with a friend and they caught a few mullet fish by working their way up and down the Dargle River.
When they were finished after midnight, they went to exit via the pedestrian access on Seapoint Road at the Dargle Bridge.
He said the way was blocked by a makeshift gate with a plank of plywood nailed to it. He attempted to get over it but his foot became caught and he fell.
He said he spent three weeks in hospital and now walking more than two miles causes difficulty for him.
He could not take up fishing again for nearly a year after the accident.
Awarding a total of €60,000, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said Mr Brien had impressed him as an honest witness. He said he was not able to take up his hobby for a year and also now had arthritis.