herald

Saturday 7 December 2019

Niall's ex settles her third claim for €15k

Niall and Zoe
Niall and Zoe

Model and personal trainer Zoe Whelan has been awarded €15,000 for a shoulder injury she suffered when a van reversed into her Audi car near the Five Lamps in Dublin.

The former girlfriend of One Direction star Niall Horan was commended in the Circuit Civil Court yesterday for having made an early disclosure that she had previously settled two car accident claims for €12,500 each.

"All medical reports were fully furnished in relation to Ms Whelan's previous accidents before this case came to court," Judge Jacqueline Linnane said.

"There is no question of anything having been concealed from the defence and I want to make that very clear."

Judge Linnane told Ms Whelan's barrister, John Nolan, that the court had found her evidence of the December 2017 accident far more compelling than that of two witnesses for Electsol Services Ltd which had claimed she had driven at speed into the back of its cherry-picker which was repairing street lamps in Dunne Street.

The 25-year-old, who lives in Newbury Park, Clonshaugh, Dublin, told the court she had stopped behind the van which had been partly blocking the street and was shocked when she saw its reversing lights come on and move backwards.

"I was screaming and pumping the horn but it kept coming and crashed into the front of my car," Ms Whelan said.

Wheel

"My right arm was fully extended and firmly on the steering wheel as I pumped the horn with my left hand.

"When it struck my car my arm was pushed back, injuring my right shoulder."

Ms Whelan told Mr Nolan that there was nothing else she could do when she saw the reversing lights come on.

She said she had been involved in two previous car accidents which she had settled for €12,500 each.

In what Judge Linnane described as a vigorous cross-examination by defence counsel, Ms Whelan told the court she did not tell lies, denying defence allegations that it was her who had driven into the back of the cherry picker.

She said Electsol owner Padraig Leavy had spoken to her and told her he would prefer she took her car to a garage in Santry for it to be repaired and he would cover the cost.

They had exchanged phone numbers but he had never phoned her again despite her having attempted on numerous occasions to contact him.

She said the front of her Audi had been damaged and it remained unrepaired as she did not have comprehensive insurance.

Tony Doyle, the driver of the cherry picker, told Mr Nolan the reversing lights would have come on when he had put the vehicle into reverse.

But he said he had not moved it as he did not have an interior rear mirror and had been awaiting hand signals from Mr Leavy.

When there had been no signals he had got out and saw there had been an impact.

Judge Linnane said Ms Whelan had told the court her shoulders had been injured in both of the two previous accidents and the court accepted the 2017 incident would not have helped her situation.

Gym

She was a personal fitness instructor who was very keen on always keeping fit.

The judge told the court that she had seen photos and a video taken from Facebook of Ms Whelan performing strenuous exercises some months after the accident.

Ms Whelan had sued Electsol Services Ltd, of Rathbrack, Killucan, Co Westmeath, and Dublin City Council for which it had been carrying out sub-contract work on street lights.

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