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Woman loses claim over fall at parish-hall polling station

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Anne Cassidy and her husband Patrick

Anne Cassidy and her husband Patrick

Anne Cassidy and her husband Patrick

A WOMAN who fell when entering a parish hall to vote at a referendum has lost her High Court action for damages over injuries she allegedly sustained.

Anne Cassidy (68), of Crickstown, Ratoath, Co Meath, sued Fr Philip Gaffney, the parish priest of Curraha, Ashbourne, Co Meath; Mary O'Malley, returning officer for East Meath in the referendum; and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government as the owner/occupier of the hall on the day of the accident.

The High Court was told that Ms Cassidy went with her husband Patrick to Curraha parochial hall on October 2, 2009, to vote in the second Lisbon Treaty referendum.

At the entrance door, she tripped and fell when her toe was caught on a raised weather strip at the step into the hall, the court heard.

Ms Cassidy told the court she had been left with serious pain in her left shoulder, back, hip and ankle.

Ms Cassidy claimed that the defendants were negligent in not foreseeing the danger and in not providing warning signs.

The defendants claimed that she failed to keep a proper lookout and was therefore the author of her own misfortune.

Pain

Under cross-examination, Ms Cassidy said she had previously sued the council over a fall in Navan, Co Meath, when she suffered injuries to her face.

Mr Justice Eamon de Valera said Ms Cassidy, who had used the hall to vote on a number of occasions previously, did not take enough care this time.

She had not proven liability, said the judge, and he therefore had to dismiss the case and award costs against her.

Irish Independent