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Pensioner (83) who needs hip surgery after being hit by garda car awarded almost €60k


Brendan Tierney

Brendan Tierney

Brendan Tierney

An 83-year-old pensioner, who will have to undergo a hip replacement operation as a result of his car being hit by a Garda vehicle, was today awarded almost €60,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said he was satisfied Brendan Tierney, who had an underlying degenerative condition in his hip, had led an extremely active life before the October 2013 accident.

The judge heard that Mr Tierney and his wife, Christine, also in her 80’s, had enjoyed a Mediterranean Cruise just the month before their Fiat Panda was hit by a car driven by Garda Michael O’Rourke in Blessington, Co Wicklow. 

Barrister Timothy Sheehan, counsel for Mr Tierney, said several members of the Garda had been chasing a car driven by Michael Cash, of Hazelhill Terrace, Tallaght, Dublin, who had allegedly failed to stop at a check point.

Judge Groarke was told the Tierneys, of Church view, St Margaret’s , Co Dublin, had been on their way to their daughter’s for a Sunday lunch and the accident had happened when Garda O’Rourke had made a U-turn.

Mr Sheehan, who appeared with O’Reilly Doherty solicitors, said liability had been admitted in the case which had become an assessment of damages.

The judge heard that since the accident, Mr Tierney was not able to climb up ladders and do some gardening, and he now would not drive more than about five miles from his home.

Mr Shehan said the accident had exacerbated a degenerative condition, which may have never troubled Mr Tierney but has left him where he may now need a hip replacement.

The court heard Mr Tierney had been on a waiting list to undergo the operation publicly but he may now have it done by next November privately. He sued the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland; the Minister for Finance and also Michael Cash, for negligence and breach of duty.

Judge Groarke said there was no question Mr Tierney’s life had been disrupted since the accident. He said he was satisfied the surgery he was going to undergo had been partly caused by the accident, and would award him half of its cost in that regard.

The judge awarded Mr Tierney €45,000 damages for pain and suffering, and €13,023 damages for fees and expenses, including future expenses, a total of €58,023.