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€4.5m for brave Jack (10) after 'catastrophic' injuries at birth

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Mr Justice Cross told the High Court, sitting in Cork, that Jack’s parents, Gerard and Charlene Murphy, and his grandmother, Maura Roche, had shown the little boy “extraordinary love and care”. (Stock image)

Mr Justice Cross told the High Court, sitting in Cork, that Jack’s parents, Gerard and Charlene Murphy, and his grandmother, Maura Roche, had shown the little boy “extraordinary love and care”. (Stock image)

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Mr Justice Cross told the High Court, sitting in Cork, that Jack’s parents, Gerard and Charlene Murphy, and his grandmother, Maura Roche, had shown the little boy “extraordinary love and care”. (Stock image)

A €4.5m settlement was approved for a brave 10-year-old "fighter" who suffered catastrophic injuries at birth.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement as he hailed the family of Jack Murphy as "a good example of the very best in Irish society".

Mr Justice Cross told the High Court, sitting in Cork, that Jack's parents, Gerard and Charlene Murphy, and his grandmother, Maura Roche, had shown the little boy "extraordinary love and care".

His grandmother told the court that Jack had battled back from many health problems.

The little boy was very ill last Christmas but again rallied. "He is a fighter and I cannot see him going anywhere for the next while," she said.

"He has gone down a bit from last year. But he is a fighter."

When asked about the proposed settlement, Mrs Roche said: "It is a small price to pay for what we have suffered. But it is what is best for Jack."

The boy was born with catastrophic birth injuries in 2006. He was left unable to communicate, with severe respiratory problems as well as chronic epilepsy.

He also has special feeding needs.

Jack suffers fits on a daily basis and is particularly restless and uncomfortable at night. He will require round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

Denis McCullagh, for the plaintiff, said he believed he had never acted for anyone in a worse situation than the boy.

Jack had sued St Finbarr's Hospital, Cork, and the HSE, via his parents. "Liability is not formally admitted. But it is clear from the offer that there is no significant dispute as to liability," Mr Justice Cross said.

Mr McCullagh told the court that a settlement of €4.5m has been agreed.

An overall figure of €5.5m as to loss of income, future care needs and accommodation costs had been worked out.

This was then reduced by 20pc to the agreed €4.5m.

The court was told that a key element of Jack's future care will be securing a permanent home for his parents so they can care for his extensive needs.

The couple are from Kilbehenny, Co Limerick, but are renting a property outside Mitchelstown, Co Cork. They have three younger children.

The judge said: "I have no hesitation in approving of the settlement. I must commend the tender and loving care of his parents and grandmother."

The case was adjourned until June 21 for final details of the settlement package to be confirmed.

Irish Independent