Tuesday 15 October 2019

Farrell claimed €880 repairs in collision - but later dropped case

Spotlight: the Audi that was involved in the collision
Spotlight: the Audi that was involved in the collision
Spotlight: TD Alan Farrell. Picture: Fennell
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell alleged he would need more than €880 of repairs to his car after a minor collision - but later dropped a claim for material damage after photos of the vehicle were shown in court.

Mr Farrell broke his silence yesterday after being featured in a segment on whiplash injuries on 'Prime Time'.

He said he is "satisfied the matter is concluded" and will not be making any further comment.

The Dublin TD alleged he suffered a whiplash injury for up to 18 months following the incident, which happened in Drumcondra, north Dublin, in April 2015.

He brought a personal injuries claim for up to €15,000 against Hertz Rent-A-Car after the collision with one of its vehicles.

He submitted an invoice quoting for repairs to his vehicle of €882.84 - which included €600 for labour costs and €156.23 for paint materials.

However, in court Mr Farrell later dropped his claim for this material damage - three years after the accident.

Pictures of his vehicle after the collision and an invoice estimating the cost of repairs were shown on the RTÉ 'Prime Time' programme broadcast on Tuesday night.

Legal claims have been in the political spotlight since the controversy surrounding fellow Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey's personal injuries claim.

She made a compensation claim over a fall from a swing at The Dean Hotel in Dublin, which was subsequently dropped.

In his own case, Mr Farrell pointed out that a judge had already adjudicated on the matter and liability had been admitted.

The driver of the Hertz vehicle had been inching forward and panicked when a spider fell on to her arm.

The van she was driving subsequently rolled into the back of Mr Farrell's Audi A6 at a speed of around 8kmh, Dublin District Court heard.

Deputy Farrell said he suffered pain and stiffness afterwards, having to curtail activities like running.

Mr Farrell was awarded €2,500 for his injuries, but Judge Michael Coghlan said there was "little or no notation to back up a claim of significant whiplash".

"In the circumstances I consider it to be a very minor injury," he said.

When asked about his decision to drop the material damage claim, Mr Farrell said: "My case was adjudicated on by a District Court judge. Liability for the accident was admitted and I am satisfied that the matter is concluded. I have no further comment."

Last week, Deputy Farrell came out in support of Fine Gael colleague Ms Bailey after she withdrew her personal injury claim against The Dean Hotel following a fall from a swing on a night out.

"Just because you hold public office shouldn't debar you from defending and vindicating your rights," he said.

The Dublin Fingal TD said he had "a great deal of sympathy for her personally and for her family" after she withdrew her claim last week.

The Irish Independent revealed how Ms Bailey ran a 10km race three weeks after she fell from the swing.

The politician lodged a personal injuries claim on the basis that she suffered injuries to her head, lower back and hip after the fall.

Court papers described her as a "keen runner prior to the accident but could not run at all for three months post- accident and has had to reduce her activities significantly since".

Fine Gael has since launched an internal probe into the compensation claim.

Irish Independent

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