Hurling Match Injury Leads to School Pay €25,000 Child Injury Compensation

A Co Clare-based primary school has been direct to pay out €25,150 child injury compensation to a young boy who sustained a broken nose as a result of being made to place in a hurling game with no helmet.

Legal representatives for the now 14-year-old Bernard McDonagh, Lorcan Connolly BL, informed the Court that he (Bernard) fracture his nasal bone in a game of hurling, organised by the school where helmets were not given the pupils. Under the rules of the GAA and school procedures helmets must be used by those playing in any organized game of hurling.

Bernard McDonagh of Aughanteeroe, Gort Rd, Ennis was just nine-years-old and attending Clarecastle National School (NS) when the accident occured. The school is to make provision for the payment of the compensation vis their insurance company.

Mr Connolly informed the that the injury was “a fracture but he made a good recovery and two medics described the outcome as excellent. In those circumstances I wouldn’t have a hesitation in recommending the assessment.”

The nose break was one of two personal injury actions taken by Bernard McDonagh through his father, Michael McDonagh and in total, Judge Brian O’Callaghan has ordered the pay-out of €45,268 in damages, fees and expenses to Bernard McDonagh.

Mr Connolly told Judge O’Callaghan that the boy “had a bad couple of months” as he was also involved in a car accident during this time that resulting in presiding Judge O’Callaghan also approving a separate award of €18,000. In the road traffic accident he suffered neck and back injuries. This took place just five months before the hurling accident took place at Clarecastle N.S.

The assessment in each case was made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and were before Judge O’Callaghan for approval. Mr Connolly said he was recommending the assessments to which Judge O’Callaghan responded saying: “One could argue that €25,150 might be slightly generous and the other award slightly lower than expected but in the overall context, the court will follow your recommendation.”

The GAA made the wearing of helmets with faceguards compulsory as of January 1, 2010 in a bid fo prevent head injuries from being sustained. This ruling was applicable at every level, age group and grade in the game.