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Woman savaged by her late father's dog for 90 minutes sues


Olivia Donnelly and her injuries from attack

Olivia Donnelly and her injuries from attack

Olivia Donnelly and her injuries from attack

A woman who claims she was viciously attacked by her late father's dog only days after his funeral has launched a High Court action for damages.

The attack on Olivia Donn- elly by the Japanese Akita dog named Bran lasted 90 minutes and only ended when she managed to crawl away and was dragged to safety, the court heard.

Hugh McGahon SC, for Ms Donnelly, told the court she was so savagely attacked she was immediately taken to Beaumont Hospital, where she spent 11 days in intensive care and a total of eight weeks in hospital.


The key issue in her action for damages is who the owner of the dog was at the time of the attack.

Her barrister said it is being argued by the other side that Ms Donnelly, as one of the persons entitled to inherit the estate of her late father, may have been an owner of the dog and therefore may be liable for its actions.

Counsel said the early morning attack five years ago took place in the yard of the Redpenny Inn premises at Ardee Road, Co Louth, which had been owned by Ms Donnelly's publican father Michael at the time of his death on November 4, 2015.

The court heard Mr Donn- elly owned the three-year-old dog and never let anyone else near it.

The dog, her barrister said, had a history of nipping and biting and was a "savage attacker" of other dogs when it got out of the property.

Eight days after Mr Donnelly's funeral, the dog attacked Ms Donnelly as she went to bottlefeed two other pups of another dog on the property.

Counsel said other members of the family "heard the commotion" and tried to distract the dog and dragged Ms Donnelly through the pub door after she managed to get there.

The attack, Mr McGahon said, lasted one-and-a-half-hours, and Ms Donnelly had been left with no use of her left arm and has had to have numerous operations.

"There is no end to it," he added.

Community officer Ms Donnelly, of Mandydown Close, Red Barns Road, Dundalk, wants damages from the estate of her late father.

He owned the Redpenny Inn where the attack took place on November 15, 2015.

Ms Donnelly (44) has claimed she thought she was going to be killed by the dog and has suffered nightmares since the attack. She has been diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The mother-of-three has further claimed there was an alleged failure to keep a muzzle on the dog and an alleged failure to ensure it could not attack her.

The claims are denied, and it is argued that Ms Donnelly failed to take any appropriate care when attending a premises where she knew an Akita dog to be present.

The court heard there was a complex issue to be considered over ownership.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton said it should be decided before the substantial action proceeds.

He will make a ruling on it next week.