Publicans should pay crash damages, court told
PUBLICANS who served drinks to a man later involved in a crash in which he and another person died should be made liable for damages resulting from the collision, it was claimed in the High Court yesterday.
John Connolly (79), of Kinlough, Co Leitrim, was allegedly served between five and six pints of beer at the Diamond Bar, Tullaghan, Co Leitrim, before he drove on the wrong side of the road and hit another car on the afternoon of March 31, 2005.
The nominee of his estate has claimed it is entitled to an indemnity, or contribution, from pub owners Seamus and Concepta Kelly for a €275,000 damages claim brought against the estate by the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision.
The case, which is being fully contested by the Kellys, was described by the publicans' lawyers as "groundbreaking" in that an attempt was being made to "blame somebody else" for a collision that was Mr Connolly's fault.
The court heard Mr Connolly was killed when his vehicle collided with a car, in which driver Mary Flanagan was injured and her daughter Anne McSorley, from Antrim Road, Belfast, was killed.
The collision occurred at Bunduff Bridge on the main Sligo to Bundoran Road.
In the proceedings, it is claimed the Kellys were negligent and in breach of duty of care by serving alcohol to Mr Connolly when they ought to have known he would be driving. It is further claimed that the Kellys did not take any adequate steps to prevent Mr Connolly from driving.
The court also heard that separate High Court proceedings had been taken by Mrs Flanagan, of Oakland Road, Omagh, Co Tyrone, against Mr Connolly's estate and they had been settled for €275,000. Liability was admitted.
The case continues.