Tuesday 16 January 2018

Ann Summers party case: DJ saw woman fall against speaker

Sylvia Deehan
Sylvia Deehan

Aodhan O'Faolain

A DISC jockey has told the High Court he saw a woman who claims she was injured at an Ann Summers lingerie party fall against a loudspeaker

Dave Carraher was among a number of witnesses who gave evidence on the second day of a woman's legal action for injuries she says she got when she was knocked down at the party in a Dublin pub.

Sylvia Deehan, of Maple Avenue, Ballybrack, Dublin, alleges she had been pushed by another woman who was trying to grab a prize, described in court "as a ring that goes around a certain part of a man," thrown in the air by an Ann Summers rep in The Lough Inn, Loughlinstown.

Ms Deehan (46) has sued the pub owners Loughlinstown Inn Ltd for damages.

The defendant denies the claim and argues any injuries sustained by Ms Deehan, who they allege was put out of the pub by a member of staff that night, occurred outside of the pub.

Ms Deehan lost her case in the Circuit Court and appealed to the High Court which began hearing the case last Friday.

Today Mr Justice Max Barrett heard from several witnesses, including staff at the bar and people who attended the event, who said they did not see Ms Deehan fall, nor anything unusual happening in the pub that night.

However, Mr Carraher, a DJ who was working at the pub that night, said he remembered Ms Deehan falling and colliding with a loudspeaker.

The Ann Summers Party was part of a Ladies Night at the pub, the highlight of which was a performance by the Male strippers the "Hunks of Desire," on January 21, 2011.

Ms Deehan says she sustained injuries to her ribs after she was shoved aside by another woman while they were both reaching for a prize thrown in the air following a game organised by the Ann Summers representative.

Ms Deehan says she fell against the leg of a loud speaker, injuring her ribs.

In his evidence, Mr Carraher said Ms Deehan fell against the equipment and injured her side. He told the court he asked her if she was okay.

Barry Tennyson, an engineer who gave technical evidence on Ms Deehan's behalf, said it was dangerous for a prize to be thrown among a group of adults in a circulation area at a venue where alcohol is served.

Under cross examination from Joe McGettigan SC, for the pub, Mr Tennyson said he was not saying Ann Summers parties should be banned, but rather that a proper risk assessment should have been carried out in advance.

Shane Watters, a former barman at the Lough Inn, told Mr McGettigan he escorted Ms Deehan off the premises that night. He said that had been a few minor complaints made against Ms Deehan by other staff and customers.

Ms Deehan was being "rowdy" and was asked "to keep it down," Mr Watters said.  He also told the court she had used "colourful language" towards him after he spoke to her.

Under cross examination by Mark deBlacam SC, for Ms Deehan, Mr Watters said his version of events was the truth. He also accepted he had been in a relationship with the bar owner's daughter and they had two children together but had since split up.

Niamh Kielty, who was the Ann Summers representative at the party, said that she could not remember anything out of the ordinary happen at the pub that night.

The court also heard form the pub's manager, Leigh Murphy, who said CCTV  in the pub did not show Ms Deehan fall as she has claimed. The court was informed that the CCTV pictures of the night had since been erased.

Under cross examination, Ms Murphy, whose father owns the pub, denied that she had put pressure on a friend of Ms Deehan, Kim Henderson, not to give evidence against the pub.

Ms Murphy said she had called to Ms Henderson's home shortly after the incident.

Ms Henderson gave a statement saying that she did not see anything that night. However it was accepted that Ms Henderson rang her the following day and asked to  withdraw the statement.

The case continues.

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