Friday 21 September 2018

TD accused in Dáil of 'excess claiming' after car crash as photo of him appearing to hang election poster shown in court

TD Alan Farrell Picture: Tom Burke
TD Alan Farrell Picture: Tom Burke
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

A Fine Gael TD has been accused in the Dáil of over-claiming compensation after being involved in a motor accident.

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty told the Dáil yesterday it was appropriate the courts question cases where people make large claims about an injury.

He made reference to a court case earlier this week involving Dublin Fingal TD Alan Farrell.

Mr Farrell made a claim for €15,000 after he said he suffered neck and shoulder injuries as a result of a car accident in Drumcondra, Dublin, in April 2015.

He brought the claim against the driver of a rented car after the collision, but Judge Michael Coughlan ruled on Monday the TD's claims did not back up "significant whiplash" injuries.

A photograph of the TD on a ladder appearing to hang a poster with his neck turned to face the camera was shown to the court, dated four months after the collision. He said the photograph was staged.

Judge Coughlan eventually awarded Mr Farrell €2,500.

Mr Doherty referenced Mr Farrell's case yesterday during a debate about insurance costs without naming the Fingal TD.

He told Junior Finance Minister Michael D'Arcy the case was an example of the courts questioning high claims.

"The issue here in some cases is where people are over-claiming," Mr Doherty said. "It is welcome to see the courts are now questioning those issues. I mentioned your own colleague as an example of that, where a large award was looked for and a reduced amount was actually given and it is appropriate that the courts are challenging claims being made."

Mr Farrell did not respond to a request for comment.

Irish Independent

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