Saturday 24 June 2017

Woman sues Tayto Park after breaking ankle

Helena McDonnell was working at Tayto Park at the time of the incident Photo: Collins
Helena McDonnell was working at Tayto Park at the time of the incident Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

A woman who broke her ankle on a ride at Tayto Park in Co Meath has sued for damages in the High Court.

Helena McDonnell (25) was working as a tour guide at the amusement park at the time of the accident five years ago, and went down the 60-foot 'Tayto Twister' slide with friends.

Tayto boss Ray Coyle Photo: Collins Courts
Tayto boss Ray Coyle Photo: Collins Courts

Ms McDonnell, of Newbrook Avenue, Donaghmede, Dublin, claimed her right ankle became trapped twice in the loops on the slide and she broke it. "I heard a popping noise in my ankle as I went down the slide. At the second loop, I heard a cracking noise. I was terrified," she said.

When she got to the bottom, "my foot was out of shape and turned to the right-hand side," she said.

Ms McDonnell told Mr Justice Kevin Cross she now has pain every day and had to abandon her dream of being a make-up artist, as that would require a lot of standing.

She told the court the Twister ride was not open to the public at the time and she said she and other employees were told to try it. She has sued Ashbourne Visitor Centre Ltd, trading as Tayto Park, Ashbourne, Co Meath, of which Tayto boss Ray Coyle is a director, over the accident on June 11, 2012.

She has also sued the manufacturer of the ride, Hags Aneby AB of Sweden, and the suppliers of the ride, Spraoi Linn Ltd of Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford.

She has claimed the defendants were negligent in that they manufactured, designed, supplied and installed a slide which was allegedly dangerous. She further claimed there was an alleged failure to alter the slide to reduce acceleration.

The court was told the case was before the court for assessment of damages only. Her counsel said that after the accident, the ride was altered in relation to how steep it was and at the turns.

It was also contended that a sign warning that the ride was not appropriate for anybody over 15 years of age had been removed. The case continues on Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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