THE STATE has accepted liability in the death of a young Air Corps cadet who was killed in a training accident four years ago, exonerating him of any blame for the tragedy.
The father of Cdt David Jevens had taken a case against Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, the State and the Attorney General following on from the death of his son in an Air Corps training crash on the Galway-Mayo border on October 12, 2009.
Today Galway Circuit Civil Court heard the case had been settled. Mr John Kiely (BL) said the State accepted full liability in the matter and read a statement absolving the young cadet of any blame for the tragic incident which claimed the lives of two men.
A statement from Minister Shatter said that three separate investigations had been carried out into the "tragic accident" - by the Air Accident Investigation Unit of the Department of Transport, a coroner's inquest and a military Court of Inquiry investigation.
"All of the investigations agree that Cadet Jevens bore no responsibility of any kind for the accident.
"The Defendants have admitted liability in relation to this tragic accident. The Minister for Defence wishes to again reassure the parents and siblings of the late Cadet David Jevens that he was in no way remotely to blame for the dreadful tragedy that occurred that day," it added.
David Jevens (22) died alongside Capt Derek Furniss (32) when their PC-9 plane crashed in Cornamona Co Galway during a training accident. An inquest into their deaths heard the cause of the crash was due to spatial disorientation brought on by somatogravic illusion during an emergency manoeuvre in deteriorating weather.
The personal injuries summons included 39 particulars of negligence, all of which were accepted by the defence. Today the family were awarded €25,395 in compensation with a further €11,140 to cover funeral costs.
The special payment will be divided between Cdt Jevens parents Donal and Liz who will receive €8,465 each with €4,232.50 for each of his siblings, Christopher and Sarah.Speaking after the hearing, the Jevens' family said they would always be proud of the position David had in the Irish Air Corps as a Cadet Pilot and future officer.
The family will now meet with the Minister for Defence and the Chief of Staff or the Defence Forces next month to discuss further concerns.
By Caroline Crawford