Tuesday 20 February 2018

Golfer claims she suffered stroke after ball hit her

Golfer Mary Brennan leaving the court
Golfer Mary Brennan leaving the court

Tim Healy

A woman suffered a stroke days after she had been hit on the head with a golf ball, the High Court has heard.

Golfer Mary Brennan was standing on the balcony of Old Conna Golf Club in Bray, Co Wicklow, after waving to her husband 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, Dublin, 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 that 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. She 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 Vincent's Hospital and was told she had had a stroke.

"I am never totally without a headache," said Mrs Brennan.


She told the court that prior to the incident 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 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 had told her that she would never drive again. She has to wear special glasses and has a flickering in her eyes for which she said there is no treatment.

Mrs Brennan said doctors had told her she 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 they were on holiday in Dubai. She said she had to wear the glasses all the time but takes them off for photographs.

Club member Brian Murdoch told the court that 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.

Irish Independent

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