Friday 18 January 2019

Damages for man who witnessed schoolbus deaths

Tim Healy

A PASSENGER on a bus which crashed and killed five schoolgirls in 2005 has settled his High Court action for post traumatic stress and depression arising out of the accident.

Daryl Noonan (20), currently living in Australia but originally from from Dean Hill, Hayes, Navan, Co Meath, brought the damages claim against Bus Eireann.

The schoolbus went out of control and overturned on the Kentstown Road near Navan, on May 23, 2005.

The five who died in the tragedy were: Lisa Callan (15), Clare McCluskey (18), Amy McCabe (15), Deirdre Scanlon (17) and Sinead Ledwidge (15).

Liability in the case had been conceded and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

The court heard Mr Noonan remembered hearing screams from others on the bus just before the crash occurred.

Afterwards, he remembered seeing other passengers with injuries. Mr Noonan himself suffered minor injuries. However, he knew one of the deceased girls very well.

At the time of the accident, he was in his second year at secondary school in Navan. His grades had been good and he got on well with his family.

Mr Noonan claimed that after the crash he had nightmares and became anxious while travelling.

He also became uncommunicative and lost all interest in school work. His grades suffered, it was claimed, and Mr Noonan eventually left school without passing his Leaving Certificate.

His relationship with his family deteriorated, he spent very little time at home and began drinking alcohol a lot.

Mr Noonan attended a counsellor, but in 2009 he decided to move to Australia in order to get away from what had happened.

Irish Independent

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