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Man left disabled by drunk driver gets €2.3m

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Tom McKiernan leaving court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix

Tom McKiernan leaving court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix

Tom McKiernan leaving court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix

A MAN awarded €2.3m after he was knocked down by a drunk driver and left brain damaged has pleaded with people to "be visible" and "safe" on the roads.

Computer programmer Tom McKiernan (39) has suffered permanent brain injuries in the incident in which a mother of twins also lost her life.

A car driven by Francis Lennon mounted the pavement as Mr McKiernan and four friends walked along the footpath on the Malahide Road, Clontarf, Dublin, killing Anne Fitzsimons and leaving Mr McKiernan severely injured.

Lennon later pleaded guilty to dangerous and drink driving and dangerous driving causing the death of Ms Fitzsimons on November 15, 2009.

In the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said Mr McKiernan had a terrible incident which was not his fault.

Mr McKiernan, who suffered brain damage and now has to walk with a stick, has been left with terrible injuries, the judge said.

Mr Justice Cross, approving the €2.3m settlement against Mr Lennon, said it had a devastating effect on Mr McKiernan and it had "ruined" him.

"But you are here. You are able to discuss the matter with me," he said. "The way you have managed this terrible disability is encouragement to all."

Mr McKiernan, Sheilmartin Avenue, Fairview, Dublin sued Mr Lennon, Sheephill Park, Corduff, Blanchardstown, Dublin, who was the owner and driver of the car.

Mr McKiernan, who the court heard will not be able to return to work and has had to learn to drive again, said that after yesterday's case he was happy his nightmare was over. "I want to rebuild my life. I would just like to ask everybody to be safe on the roads, to be visible and think of other road users," he added.

Irish Independent