'I'm a God fearing man, I wouldn't tell lies' - man tells court after judge throws out compensation claim
A judge has thrown out a compensation claim by an accident prone father-of-three after telling the man “I just cannot believe a word you have said”.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keys made his comment when dismissing the claim by Edward ‘Ned’ McDonagh for alleged ‘life changing’ injuries from a 2009 'rear-end' road traffic accident at John Paul Avenue, Cloughleigh, Ennis involving Mr McDonagh’s third cousin, Jim McDonagh.
The court heard that Ennis native, Edward ‘Ned’ McDonagh (44) has been involved in 10 accidents going back to 1995 and arising from the March 28th 2009 accident, Mr McDonagh claimed that he suffered ‘whiplash’ neck and back injuries and a ruptured cruciate to his left knee.
Front seat passenger, Mr McDonagh told the court that his knee hit the dashboard on impact with the other car driven by Jim McDonagh. He said: “My knee was all swelled out. It popped out and broke the cruciate. The dash board was low and I am tall with long legs. That is my problem.”
Mr McDonagh has received cumulative compensation of €30,380 from four other compensation claims from his 10 other accidents and incidents.
Mr McDonagh of Tuam Rd Halting site, Galway told the court that the alleged injuries from the 2009 rear-ending were ‘life changing’.
He said: “I am embarrassed to say it, but I need help going into the shower because of the accident.”
Mr McDonagh told the court that he has to wear a bandage every day “to keep the knee tight, to give some bit of stability”.
Mr McDonagh blamed HSE waiting lists for not getting any physio to his knee over the past nine years.
He said: “Just painkillers your honour - the lists for that king of thing - like it’s long. The HSE - it is a long list."
Mr McDonagh also stated that the injuries sustained worsened his depression which was only slight before the ‘rear-ending’.
He said: “The depression leads back to the injury because I couldn’t pick up my child for fear that I would slip and my knee would pop out. My GP has been very worried about me because my depression has increased because I couldn't go a gym which was a great hobby of mine.”
He added: “I haven’t been able to do what I used to. I used to go to the gym and play football, sports with the kids. Now I am wearing a knee brace every day.”
Under cross examination from Emmett O’Brien BL, Mr McDonagh denied that he was lying. Mr McDonagh said: “I’m a God fearing man. I wouldn’t tell lies.”
However, in throwing out the claim, Judge Keys told him: “I just cannot believe a word you have said.”
Judge Keys said that he found Mr McDonagh’s evidence to be “a complete exaggeration”.
Judge Keys said: “He describes this as life-changing and I have to say that his evidence is just not credible.”
Judge Keys said: “Mr McDonagh has done nothing in nine years to minimise his loss and he has received no treatment over the nine years.”
Judge Keys told the court: “There are now statutory provisions where if someone comes to this court and takes the oath and gives evidence which is wholly untrue that the penalty is that I am entitled to strike out the case and this case falls well within that category and I am striking out the claim.”
Judge Keys said that Mr McDonagh had been involved in 10 other accidents where some resulted in claims and others didn’t.
Judge Keys said that the evidence was that Edward ‘Ned’ McDonagh and Jim McDonagh were on opposite sides in a family feud and that Edward Ned McDonagh had been ambushed on March 28th 2009.
In evidence, counsel for the other driver, Jim McDonagh in the case, Emmett O’Brien BL outlined to the court Mr Edward ‘Ned’ McDonagh’s accident history.
Mr O’Brien said that Mr McDonagh was involved in a road traffic accident in 1996 where he received £4,000 (€5,080) for neck and back injuries; another road traffic accident in 2002 where Mr McDonagh received €16,000 for neck and back injuries; €5,300 for a trip and fall accident in 2006 when Mr McDonagh broke his right ankle and €4,000 for a 2013 workplace accident at Lidl for a workplace accident where he injured his back.
Mr O’Brien said that Mr McDonagh sustained injuries where there was no claim - in 2003, Mr McDonagh was assaulted; in 2006, Mr McDonagh was assaulted and broke his left ankle; in 2004, he sustained a back injury while lifting weights; in 2005 Mr McDonagh was involved in a road traffic accident; in 2007 sustained a possible knife injury at a wedding and involved in other accident in 2014.
Under cross examination, Mr McDonagh denied that he was involved in a feud at the time of the March 2009 road traffic accident.
He said: “I wouldn’t call it a feud because I have never been convicted on any charges of a feud.”
Mr McDonagh accepted that bail conditions he was under required him to stay out of Co Clare.
Mr O’Brien said that Jim McDonagh said that the car Edward 'Ned' McDonagh was a passenger in on the day “stopped all of a sudden and reversed into Jim McDonagh’s car”.
In response, Edward ‘Ned’ McDonagh said: “That is an allegation that was investigated and never proven.”
Mr O’Brien said a report on a visit by Edward ‘Ned’McDonagh to the A&E three days later found that the ‘cruciate was okay' and no swelling with full movement.
Mr O’Brien said whatever injury Edward Ned McDonagh sustained was as a result of getting into altercation with other McDonaghs on the day and not as a result of any rear-ending.
Mr O’Brien said: “Two branches of the same family fell out and ye were knocking the hell out of each other.”
In evidence, Garda Stephen Kelly said that he was stationed in Ennis at the time and policed the McDonagh feud. He said: “I do recall we were stationed more or less in the estate around the clock for a number of weeks and months.”
Garda Kelly attended the McDonagh road traffic accident on March 28th 2009 “and there were no complaints of injuries and no major damage recorded in my notes”.
Judge Keys said that he would award costs against Mr Edward 'Ned' McDonagh but put a stay on the costs. The judge said that if Mr Edward 'Ned' McDonagh appealed the ruling, the stay would be lifted on his costs order.