Teen nets €50,000 GAA settlement after goalpost hit her on head
A TEENAGER has settled her damages action against the GAA for €50,000 after a goalpost fell on her head.
Jessica Fidgeon Cush (17) described the settlement as a "huge success" but said nothing would ever compensate for what happened.
She said: "I will take a step towards a happier future, knowing that the money I have obtained will help me with travelling and college funding."
Jessica was playing in goal and was aged just 11 when the incident happened on October 21, 2006.
She was playing for Round Towers Lusk GAA club on a pitch at Starlights GAA Club in Collinstown, north Dublin.
President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, approved the settlement after hearing how she had been knocked to the ground by the goalpost.
Her counsel, Richard Keane, said Jessica suffered a significant trauma and it was later discovered that she had a neck injury. She suffered headaches, nightmares and flashbacks after the accident.
Her mother, Vickey, said the family had been "to hell and back" but that they were happy with the settlement.
She added: "Jessica was standing under the goalposts but the crossbar came down and hit her on the top of the head. She was taken to hospital and it was discovered that her sixth vertebra was fractured.
"If it had hit her an inch one way, our consultant said she would have been dead. If it had been an inch the other way, she would have been paralysed."
Jessica sued the GAA through her father Philip. It was claimed that the goalpost was in a dangerous and unsafe condition.
There was an alleged failure to carry out any appropriate inspection of it. It was also claimed that there was a failure to ensure the goalpost was adequately secured.
Jessica, it was claimed, was extremely shocked and shaken and sustained an injury to her neck and had to wear a collar afterwards.
She also had a clicking sensation in her neck for some time afterwards.
The court heard that Jessica had a fear of dying after the event and sustained post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.