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Company director may have to give evidence in €4.7m damages case

A MAN against whom a landmark €4.7m damages award was made for sexual abuse of two girls may have to give evidence to the High Court.

Joseph Carrick may have to come to court to support his bid to have the award quashed on grounds he allegedly had inadequate mental capacity to defend the cases brought against him which were heard in his absence.


A retired company director, Mr Carrick was ordered to pay €4m to Jacqueline O'Toole and €700,000 to her cousin Geraldine Nolan after two separate High Court juries found last November he had raped them when they were children.


Mr Carrick (72), Carysfort Woods, Blackrock, Co Dublin, was not represented during the trials. He claimed he was unable to pay solicitors and did not represent himself.


Having later obtained new solicitors, his counsel John Rogers SC indicated there may be an application to have the jury awards set aside and a new trial ordered. The lawyers had received instructions there were serious questions about Mr Carrick's mental capacity at the time of the trials, counsel said.


The matter was adjourned to allow medical reports to be obtained.

Freezing orders over Mr Carrick's assets remain in place.


Today, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne fixed July 2 to deal with the capacity issue.


Rudi Neuman BL, for the women, said his side considered the matter could not be addressed just by viewing medical reports and oral evidence would have to be adduced.


It would be appropriate for the court to hear from Mr Carrick's former solicitors, who had applied to come off record for him. counsel said.

The central issue was Mr Carrick's state of mind when that application was made and his side considered it would also be "fundamental" to hear evidence from Mr Carrick himself in that regard.


Ms Justice Dunne remarked that "may well be necessary".  The key issue concerned the court's jurisdiction to set aside the award and she would deal with that on July 2, she said.

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