A WOMAN whose arm was impaled on a spike at Slane Castle after she tried to leave a concert by climbing over a medieval gate has been awarded damages of €75,000.
Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon said Karen McCormack (27) was left with horrible scarring after the accident a few hours after the Oasis concert finished in June 2009.
The judge apportioned 20pc of the blame for the accident to Ms McCormack after she climbed the four-metre-high spiked gate
She had sued concert promoters MCD, who intend appealing the award.
The judge granted a stay on the payout of the award providing there was an immediate provision of €45,000.
Ms McCormack (27), formerly of Deerpark, Ashbourne, Co Meath, and now living in Australia, sued MCD claiming there should have been signs advising people that the Dublin Road gate – where she had entered for the concert – would be closed after the event.
MCD denied the claims and said there was contributory negligence on the part of Ms McCormack who took a "prohibited shortcut" and tried to get over a locked gate.
The company contended that she passed three designated main exits before going down the woodland track to the Dublin Road gate.
In her judgment, Ms Justice O'Hanlon said that not putting up signs about the Dublin Road gate being closed was ill-conceived.
There should have been a person at the entrance to the woodland path leading to the gate and at the gate to alert people.
The evidence was that the 600 security personnel had been stood down by 11.45pm, and it was therefore easy to understand the situation Ms McCormack and her friends found themselves in at 1.30am.
What happened was entirely foreseeable, said te judge.
She also said Ms McCormack was not a five-year-old on a school trip, and there was an issue of contributory negligence in relation to climbing the gate.
She therefore apportioned contributory negligence at 20pc, with MCD liable for the remainder.
Ms McCormack had told the court that when she and her friends arrived at the gate, the only option was to climb over it.
She was nearly down the other side when she had to go back up and help a friend who panicked.
"I swung my arm around and the spike went through my armpit," she said.
"I went into shock and pulled my arm off the spike. There was excruciating pain."
The court heard the gate was originally designed to keep knights and soldiers out in wartime.