Friday 20 April 2018

Golfer (56) suffered stroke days after she was hit on head with golf ball, High Court hears

'Nobody shouted fore. I did not hear a warning' Mary Brennan tells court

Mary Brennan was hit on the head with a golf ball.
Mary Brennan was hit on the head with a golf ball.

A WOMAN suffered a stroke days after she was hit on the head with a golf ball, the High Court heard.

Golfer Mary Brennan was standing on the balcony of Old Conna Golf Club in Bray, Co Wicklow, after waving to her husband, who was on the  course, when all of a sudden she thought her head had been split in two.

"That is what it felt like. Nobody shouted fore. I did not hear a warning," she told the court.

The 56-year old  from The Park, Cabinteely has sued a fellow Old Conna member, Patrick Trundle,  as a result of being struck on the top part of her head with a golf ball in April 2009.

She claims Mr Trundle should have called out a warning such as fore when hitting his ball from the rough.

"I opened my eyes to look at my husband, Philip, and I could not see him. I thought I was blind,"  she said.

She was taken to St Vincent's Hospital where  a scan came back normal  and later went home but felt the inside of her head "wanted to burst."

Mrs Brennan, who has a golf handicap of 28,  had  only three weeks earlier become a full member of the Old Conna.

She told the court she started vomiting eight days later and had double vision  and headaches. She was admitted to St Vincents Hospital and was told she had had a stroke.

"I was absolutely shocked to hear it. I have headaches to this day. I am never totally without a headache," she said.

She said after the incident it felt "like my head did not belong on my shoulders."

Prior to the incident, she said life was wonderful and she was looking forward to holidays abroad playing golf with her husband as their daughter had grown up. She said they had to cancel a planned Caribbean trip.

"I loved playing golf and the club and the interaction and the social evenings.

"I tried to play golf four or five times afterwards but when somebody shouted fore I threw another lady in front of me. I realised my fear was too big," she said.

Mrs Brennan said doctors have told her she will never drive again and she has to wear special glasses and has a flickering in her eyes for which she said there is no treatment.

"I could not understand why this had happened to me. I thought I was going to enjoy the rest of my life playing golf around the world. I had a 'To Do' List," she told the court.

Doctors she said have told her whe will have pain for the rest of her life.

"If I had heard a warning I would have put my hands  over my head and ducked to the ground," she told Mr Justice Michael Peart.

Cross examined by Colm Condon SC, for Mr Trundle, Mrs Brennan agreed there were photographs of her on her husband's Facebook page without her glasses while on holiday in Dubai.

She said she has to wear the glasses all the time but takes them off for photographs.

Club member Brian Murdoch told the court he was playing golf with Mr Trundle on April 9 2009.

He said Mr Trundle was a good golfer.  His ball went in to the rough and his first shot was out of bounds.

Mr Murdoch said he did not see the second shot but he heard the impact of the club on the ball.

He said the shot ended up on the balcony and there were people shouting because the ball had gone up.

Mr Murdoch said it was the norm to call fore to warn people in the vicinity as  there might be a risk of the ball going in their direction.

The case continues.

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