Monday 16 September 2019

Criminal gets payout of €20,000 over crash

In prison: Thomas O’Neill is currently serving six years in jail. Photo: Collins Courts
In prison: Thomas O’Neill is currently serving six years in jail. Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A convicted criminal who claimed he was knocked off his bicycle by a car which failed to stop has been awarded €20,000 by the High Court.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna said his impression of recovering drug addict Thomas O'Neill (47) was that he was not lying and he did suffer injuries when he was struck by the car and ended up in a ditch.

Mr O'Neill, who has 20 previous convictions and is currently serving a six-year sentence at Midlands Prison, was living in Balrothery, Dublin, at the time of the accident.

He had sued the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, which compensates victims of uninsured or untraced drivers, as a result of the accident on June 18, 2014, near Ballyheary Road, Swords, Dublin, as he cycled home from a fishing trip.

It was claimed the driver who left the scene failed to keep an adequate lookout and failed to swerve to avoid the collision.

The court was told Mr O'Neill was knocked unconscious and sustained injuries including swelling on his right jaw and injuries to his back and arm.

The claims were denied.

The court was told Mr O'Neill is in prison after breaking in to a Cork house armed with a yard brush. He was sentenced to eight years, with two years suspended, by Cork Circuit Criminal Court last year.

Mr Justice Hanna described Mr O'Neill as a person with a long criminal record, and a former drug user whose addiction had blighted his life and the lives of others.

But he said notwithstanding his serious criminal record, Mr O'Neill was entitled to make a claim in relation to the accident.

Irish Independent

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