Saturday 17 February 2018

Six more receive payouts over collapsed ceiling at wedding

Tim Healy

SIX more people have received settlements for injuries sustained when a hotel ceiling collapsed during a wedding reception -- one day after the bride was awarded €42,000 in damages.

The groom was among those who got undisclosed settlements yesterday.

On Tuesday, the bride, Joanne Noone, was awarded €42,350 over the incident at the Setanta House Hotel, Celbridge, Kildare, on September 26, 2003.

Yesterday, her husband Michael, best man Desmond Noone, and four other guests secured settlements for their own High Court actions against the company operating the hotel, Connotes Ltd.

Before the settlements were reached, the court heard from Michael's brother and best man, Desmond, of Silken Vale, Maynooth, Kildare.

Desmond Noone told how he feared his mother, father and aunt may have been buried under the collapsed ceiling. He heard a sound -- like a bed sheet ripping -- and could see part of the ceiling coming at them.

He said those at the top table, himself included, tried to get to the edge of the room but something heavy fell on him.

"There was a lot of blood and I could not see anybody. I was dazed looking around," Mr Noone said.

He then heard a man roaring for help and he tried to break the slabs covering the man because Mr Noone thought he needed air.

He could not break the slabs and other people were roaring at him to get off as he may have been putting pressure on the man underneath.

"I then shouted 'put out the candles' because I thought the place would go on fire and I would not be able to save anybody. I shouted everybody to get outside and feared for those that might have been under the ceiling."

Mr Noone said he received treatment for bruised ribs and also injured his forehead, back, neck and jaw.

The following days he was in a state of disbelief as he knew at that stage nobody was really badly injured.

When cross-examined by counsel for the hotel, he agreed he returned to work the following Monday.

Irish Independent

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