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Ex-GAA star hit by horse loses €38,000 claim for damages

A former Dublin footballer who was knocked down by a horse and sulky at the famous Smithfield Horse Fair yesterday lost a claim for €38,000 in damages.

Patrick Loughran (63) said he injured his neck and back when he was hit by one of two horses and sulkies taking part in an illegal race through the fair on February 3 2008.

Mr Loughran, of Jugback Crescent, Swords, Co Dublin, said "pilots or jockeys" raced the two-wheeled light-framed sulkies through the crowded fair and that this was a dangerous practice that should be stopped.

Mr Loughran told counsel for the local authority, John P Keogh, that two horses and their sulkies were attempting to pass each other when he was knocked down. He was stunned, shocked and breathless for minutes afterwards.

He agreed he had been walking along a 14-inch wide ledge on the footpath outside a row of bollards on the footpath when he was hit by the horse. The jockey or pilot had never been identified.

Mr Loughran told the court he was 5ft 11in and weighed 20 stones.

Mr Justice Deery said many might consider it inappropriate for a man of Mr Loughran's proportions to have chosen to walk along such a narrow strip of kerb instead of using the footpath inside the line of bollards.

He dismissed Mr Loughran's damages claim but said he would make no order relating to legal costs, meaning both parties would pay their own.

Irish Independent