Wednesday 24 January 2018

Boy shaken like 'rag doll' in dog attack awarded €65,000

Adam Tiernan from Clondalkin, with his mum, Angelaine outside the Four Courts yesterday
Adam Tiernan from Clondalkin, with his mum, Angelaine outside the Four Courts yesterday
The scars left on Adam’s arm after the attack

Tim Healy and Ryan Nugent

A boy who sustained horrific injuries after a dog latched on to his arm as he tried to retrieve a tennis ball from a garden has settled his High Court action for €65,000.

Two men who rushed to Adam Tiernan's assistance had to beat off the dog - a Japanese Akita - with a hurley and a golf club.

The boy was only seven-years-old at the time.

He was shaken about like a "rag doll" as the dog attempted to pull him in to the garden in what his mother later described as a "a scene from 'Jaws'".

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said Adam, who is now aged 12, had suffered an horrific attack.

He directed that €2,000 of the settlement be allocated to funding a new computer and a holiday for the boy "to help him get over all this".

The court heard he had to undergo a three-hour operation to repair the muscle in his arm and had to have 120 stitches. He was also left with scarring on his right arm.

Through his mother Angelaine Tiernan, of St Mark's Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin, he sued the dog owner David Murray, also of St Mark's Crescent as a result of the incident on June 1, 2010.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to give the boy any or any adequate warning of the fact that there was danger in the area.

There were no warning signs to identify there was a danger and Mr Murray allegedly failed to properly control a dog kept on his premises.

Outside court, Mrs Tiernan said her son was a very lucky little boy.

He had been playing in a green public area with friends when he went to retrieve a ball.

"We are very grateful to the men who tried to pull the dog off him, but it had latched on to his arm and would not give way at first."

She said the dog owner had the dog put down the night of the attack.

"He is a brave little boy. His head was bruised from being hit against the bars of the fence as the dog kept pulling on his arms. He was shaken around like a rag doll.

"I nearly passed out when I saw Adam. It was a like a scene from 'Jaws'," she said.

"When we got to the hospital, they had to cut his school uniform off him and there were bits of chewed flesh still stuck to the jumper. It was really, really bad," said Angelaine last night.

"I hope I never see something like that again and it never happens to a child again."

Irish Independent

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