Wednesday 21 February 2018

Student sues school over fall at hockey training

A student who hurt her ankle after she slipped when she went to retrieve a hockey ball during a training session has sued her former school (Stock picture)
A student who hurt her ankle after she slipped when she went to retrieve a hockey ball during a training session has sued her former school (Stock picture)

Tim Healy

A young student who hurt her ankle after she slipped when she went to retrieve a hockey ball during a training session has sued her former school in the High Court for damages.

Albhe Cole was a Leaving Cert student at Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny, Killiney, Dublin, and was hockey training when, it is alleged, the accident happened in near darkness after school.

Ms Cole, who is now studying  pharmacology at UCD, said the students were playing hockey on a grit surface and there was no flood lighting at the pitch. She told the court she loved sport but since the accident she has not been able to play any sport.

She also told the court she can't wear high heels since the accident and wore sparkly runners to her Debs after her Leaving Cert.

Ms Cole (22) O’Rourke Park, Sallynoggin, Dublin, has sued Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny as a result of the accident on November 19, 2012.

She has claimed there was an alleged failure to install sufficient lighting for the playing field.  It was further claimed  the ground around the kerb area of the pitch was allegedly slippery.

The claims are denied and the school contends hockey training only occurred "light permitting."

Paul Burns SC, for Ms Cole, said the school had since got new facilities and  a pitch in 2014.

Ms Cole, who was a captain of the school hockey team, had gone after the ball when it went out of play.

She threw back the ball on to the pitch  and she slipped on a muddy surface with her ankle hitting the rim of the pitch.

Counsel said she suffered chronic injuries. She later had to have surgery to have screws inserted in the ankle and she has been left with pain and poor balance, he said.

Counsel said Ms Cole had to cancel her plans to go out on her 18th birthday which was in the weeks after her fall.

It was their case that the hockey team were playing in near darkness, he said.

In evidence, Ms Cole said that evening the ground was wet and the light was bad.

She was devastated when she could not play sport anymore  and she can't now  do something she loves.

Hockey coach, Stephanie Murphy, said the school pitch at the time was shale and grit.

She said in winter the session would finish at 5pm and she was sure  of that as it would be getting dark and would be unsafe.

She always put the safety of the players and students first, she said.

The case before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam continues.

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