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Teen wedding guest loses claim after neck slashed

A MAN whose neck was slashed when a fight erupted at a Traveller wedding has lost a legal action for damages against the hotel where the function took place.

Thomas Connors (22) of The Paddocks, Kilcock, Co Kildare, was 14 when he attended a cousin's wedding at the Lumville House Hotel in the Curragh.

He was attacked during a "stampede" out of the function room where a free-for-all broke out, the High Court heard.

He sued hotel proprietor Michael Lambe over the incident on November 27, 2006, which he said left him with a scar on the back of his neck and led to him having nightmares for two years.

At around 10pm, a big row broke out and everybody tried to squeeze out the one door at the same time when he [Mr Connors] was grabbed from behind by someone unknown, while someone else slashed him with either a knife or a bottle, he said.

He had to take refuge in the toilets along with others.

It was claimed there was a failure to prevent access to the function by unruly people or have proper security in place.

It was also claimed that because his cousins had paid a €1,000 breakage deposit, the hotel should have had security in place. The Lambe family, who have run the hotel since 1971, denied the claims.

High Court President Justice Nicholas Kearns dismissed the action saying nothing could have been done to avoid what was "an outbreak of savagery".

It was fair to describe the scene afterwards as one of devastation with photos showing blood on the walls, chairs and tables upturned and glass everywhere, he said.

He praised the Lambe family for the non-discriminatory way in which they treated the cousins of Mr O'Connor who had booked the wedding.

He said the hotel made no presumptions about those booking the event and did "not treat them as guilty" just because they were members of the Travelling Community.