Monday 23 April 2018

Brother-in-law says he was lifted up on dancefloor by woman suing pub for alleged fall

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

Aodhan O'Faolain

A brother-in-law of a woman suing over an alleged fall in a pub told the High Court she grabbed him from behind, lifted him up and they both ended up on the floor.

Mother of three Martina Minnock (44) claims she broke her ankle when she slipped on a wet floor in the Beehive pub in the village of Mountbolus, near Tullamore, Co Offaly. 

The pub owners say she attempted to lift her brother in law John Cody from the floor and as a result fell.  It denies the floor was wet.

She said that as she went down, she grabbed at the back of her brother in law and pulled him, so the both fell back on the floor.

Ms Minnock, Arden View, Tullamore, Co Offaly, has sued pub owners Andrew Johnston and Sian Marie Johnston as a result of the alleged fall on February 11, 2012.  She was attending the birthday party of her brother in law Mr Cody.

Her brother-in-law, Mr Cody, who was subpoenaed to give evidence for the pub side, told the court he was surprised when she grabbed him and thought she might have wanted to get him out on the dance floor.

Mr Cody, who is six foot tall and weighs 11 stone said she "wrapped her arm around my waist.

"She tried to lift me up when I went up, my two feet were up and I fell down on top of her. We ended up on the ground."

John Paul Shortt SC, for Ms Minnock, put it to him it would have been ridiculous thing for Ms Minnock to go to lift him for an unknown reason.

He replied. "That is what she done."

Beehive proprietor Andrew Johnston told the court she caused her own accident.

Mr Johnston said she lifted a man and they both fell over.

"I did'nt expect to be sat in the court.

"I went back over the CCTV and saw it clearly with my own eyes," he said.

He could not retain the CCTV footage beyond a certain time and he had only received a request from the Minnock side about 12 or 14 weeks after the alleged incident. He did not have the CCTV footage now.

"If I had received the request in time I would not be here today. I did not feel her actions were my responsibility.

"It was nothing on my shoulders. It was not down to me," he said.

In denying her claims, the pub also says she engaged in dangerous and boisterous behaviour with another patron.

It is denied the floor was wet contended Ms Minnock failed to have adequate regard for her own safety.

Bridget Mooney told the court she met Ms Minnock in hospital where she was receiving treatment for her injured ankle.

She said Ms Minnock told her: "You know me when I have a few drinks, I got really brave and I went to lift Cody, the long hoor, and I fell."

Asked by the judge if the alleged incident was "headline news in the village" Ms Mooney said it is sad, very sad.

Mr Justice Michael Moriarty will give his decision on the case Friday.

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