Month: May 2018

Compensation Payment to Donegal Widow Under ‘Lost at Sea’ Scheme

A Donegal widow, Winifred Byrne, who had secured the Ombudsman’s support for State compensation over exclusion from a Government scheme has finally been sent a cheque for €245,570 in Lost at Sea compensation.

Bruckless resident Ms Byrne has been awarded an ex-gratia payment from Minister for Marine Michael Creed, after a 14-year dispute when she was left out og the “Lost at Sea scheme” to support families who died while working at sea.

Ms Byrne’s lost her husband Francis and her 16-year-old son Jimmy, when they were lost along with three other crewmen after their fishing boat Skifjord perished in 1981.

In 2001, then marine minister Frank Fahey initiated a limited scheme to encourage families who had lost vessels between 1980 and 1989 to stay in fishing, by awarding compensatory “tonnage” .

Despite there being 67 applications through the scheme, only six were selected and 75% of the funds paid were to constituents of the then Minister for the Marine Mr Frank Fahey.

As the scheme had not been widely advertised the Byrne family submitted a complaint in 2004 after their late application had been turned own. Ombudsman Ms Emily O’Reilly found in their favour in December 2009, stating the scheme had been improperly operated. Despite the report being presented to the Oireachtas committee on agriculture in 2010.

Danny Byrne said that his mother had received the payment, and paid tribute to Minister for the Marine Mr Michael Creed, and to former Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins who had championed the family’s cause over the years.

Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, “I want to extend my congratulations to the Byrne family for the sheer determination and perseverance they exhibited in seeing through their campaign against successive Irish Governments on the Lost at Sea scheme.  I am delighted that they have now finally received the compensation that was legislatively owed to them and hope that this will close what I am sure has been a difficult, and at times frustrating, case.

“The Byrnes, who tragically lost two members of their family, three crew members and their entire livelihood had been fighting against their exclusion from the scheme for over 3 decades.”

15-year-old Woodwork Student Awarded €42,500 Class Finger Injury

A €42,500 School Classroom Injury Compensation award has been made to a teenage boy who cut his finger on a saw during a woodwork class.

The student, Robin Reinplu who is now aged 17, took the legal action against Arklow CBS in Co. Wicklow, following the classroom accident that occurred on January 13, 2016.

Mr Reinplu’s legal representative Michael Byrne SC, said Robin had been using a band saw to cut a piece of wood when he was shoved by another student in the class. Mr Byrne advised the Court that Robin’s finger was cut by the blade of the saw.

Robin, from The Drive, Meadowvale, Arklow, was brought to his family doctor, who referred him for further treatment to to Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin. The injuries he sustained included a two to three centimetre cut on his index finger, and a fracture of his finger tip. Following surgery to repair his nail bed he was left with a six centimetre scar.

After the surgery, Robin was absent school for a number of weeks and underwent a course of hand therapy and, following further review, it was found that he was experiencing a loss of sensation and grip, and a difficulty playing basketball. Additionally, the scar became painful in cold weather, the court was told. 

Taking the legal action through his through his father, Reimo Reinplu, it was claimed that the school was negligent in not taking any safety precautions and did not maintain adequate supervision in the classroom. Due to this Robin was not prevented from being ‘jokingly’ knocked into by a classmate. Along with this the guard on the saw should have been set at a level which would have prevented the boy’s injury.

The case was taken against Edmund Rice Schools Trust, the owner and operator of the CBS school, who denied liability in the matter. 

Judge Kevin Cross approved the offer of €42,500 for school classroom injury compensation.