herald

Monday 24 September 2018

Mum who lost eye in 'egging' sues car driver

Ann Doody was left blinded in one eye. Photo: Collins
Ann Doody was left blinded in one eye. Photo: Collins

A MOTHER of three left blinded in one eye after she was "egged" from a passing car is suing the driver.

Ann Doody, the High Court heard, had to have her eyeball removed two years after an egg was thrown at her by a passenger in a car as she power-walked with friends near her home.

The 46-year-old nurse and midwife told the court she just wishes it had never happened.

"I suddenly felt something in my left eye. There was horrific pain and blood. I knew I had to go to hospital," she said.

By the time she was taken to theatre in Dublin's Eye and Ear Hospital, she knew her sight was gone.

"I could not see anything," she said.

"My left eye was ruptured. I had no pupil left. It looked awful. I was very self conscious of it."

She had to have an operation to remove the damaged eye two years later and wears a false eye.

The court was told the egg thrower, 17-year-old David Morgan, who was a back seat passenger in the car screamed "I hit her, I hit her" after the incident.

Ms Doody of Shankill, Co Dublin, has sued the car owner and driver, Niall Clarke, who was also 17 at the time of the incident on the Bray Road, Shankill, on March 26, 2008.

She claimed that Mr Clarke, of Foxes Grove, Shankill, was negligent in relation to the management and control of the vehicle.

Mr Clarke, who the court heard is sorry for the injury to Mrs Doody, claims a driver is not liable for the wrongful acts of his passenger.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that Mr Clarke, as a juvenile, received a caution from gardai in relation to the incident and his insurance company has refused to indemnify him in the matter.

Mr Morgan of The Green, Woodbrook Glen, Bray , Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court four years ago to assault causing harm to Ms Doody and apologised to her.

Morgan was also directed to pay €10,000 he had offered as compensation to her but she turned it down and the money was donated to the Society of St Vincent de Paul and the Peter McVerry Trust.

 

SNOWBALL

Opening the case, David Nolan SC, for Ms Doody, said egging is the equivalent of snowball throwing.

Counsel said other members of the group, and not Mr Clarke, had bought 30 eggs in three cartons in a shop earlier in the evening.

Mr Clarke knew there were eggs and he did not pull over and strongly rebuke his passengers to prevent a foreseeable act, counsel said.

The key issue in the case was not about the rules of the road but about alleged personal negligence relating to the control and management of a car.

The court heard the car had been tracked down after a householder gave gardai the registration number

Gardai found there was only a handful of eggs left from the 30.

When interviewed by officers, Mr Clarke was surprised, as were all the car passengers, and they did not realise the severity of the incident.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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