Wednesday 19 September 2018

Boy gets €65k damages after dog attack scarred him for life

Adam Tiernan (12), who was awarded €65k in damages after he was savaged by a dog, with his mother Angelaine outside court
Adam Tiernan (12), who was awarded €65k in damages after he was savaged by a dog, with his mother Angelaine outside court

A Dublin mum has spoken of the terrifying moment her son was attacked by a dog that "latched onto his arm and started to swing him around like a rag doll".

"His arm was torn to shreds; it was exposed to the bone. It was like a scene out of Jaws," said Angelaine Tiernan, whose son Adam was set upon by a neighbour's Japanese Akita dog when he was seven.

She said she "nearly passed out" when she saw her son's injuries and that the incident had led them to give their own dog away.

Adam, now 12, yesterday settled his High Court action for €65,000.


The attack happened as he tried to retrieve a tennis ball from a garden on June 1, 2010.

Two men who rushed to Adam's assistance had to beat off the dog with a hurley and a golf club.

Angelaine said the family are very grateful to the men who intervened.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said Adam, who is now 12, had suffered a horrific attack.

He directed that €2,000 of the settlement be allocated to funding a new computer and a holiday for the boy "to help him get over all this".

The court heard he had to undergo a three-hour operation to repair the muscle in his arm and had to have 120 stitches.

"When we got to the hospital, they had to cut his school uniform off him and there were bits of chewed flesh still stuck to the jumper. It was really, really bad," Angelaine told the Herald last night.

"He's now destroyed with scars and they won't go away. There's only so much the plastic surgeon could do to his arm," she added.

Though his mother Angelaine, Adam sued the dog owner David Murray, also of St Mark's Crescent, Clondalkin, as a result of the incident five years ago.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to give the boy any or any adequate warning of the fact that there was danger in the area.

There were no warning signs to identify there was a danger and Mr Murray allegedly failed to properly control a dog kept on his premises.

Angelaine said the owner had that night had the dog put down. "No matter how small and fluffy they look, you can't trust any dog. We had a dog but we ended up giving him away after that," she said.


"We'll never, ever get a pet because of it - we've thought about it, but no, not even a rabbit, we just couldn't, not after that.

"I hope I never see something like that again and it never happens to a child again. I'm just sorry it ever happened in the first place, and I'm just glad that it's all over," she added.

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