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Soccer player drops €60k crash claim after photos of his six-pack shown in court

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Craig Melia

Craig Melia

CollinsPhotoAgency

Craig Melia

A young footballer has withdrawn a €60,000 personal injury claim over a crash after Instagram pictures of his bodybuilding and training regime were produced in court.

Barrister Shane English told Craig Melia (18) that the pictures had been posted by him after the accident when he claimed he had had to give up what "meant the world" to him - soccer and body improvement.

Mr English told Mr Melia in the Circuit Civil Court that he had posted before-and-after pictures lauding how his body had developed from 2016 to 2017, the year he had the accident that had allegedly prevented him playing football and going to the gym.

"You deliberately lied to every doctor you met in relation to this case by keeping from them that you had returned to playing football and training, including lifting weights in the gym," Mr English told Mr Melia.

Paragliding

Photographs presented to the court by Mr English showed Mr Melia showing off his six-pack in body shots relating to his gym work, posing with his father as they prepared to go paragliding in Lanzarote in August last year and pictures of him as captain of Swords Celtic.

Mr English, who represented motorist Joseph Fitzgerald, of Holywell Rise, Swords, and RSA Insurance, told Mr Melia that his father, also allegedly injured in the same crash, was taking a High Court claim against the defendants for personal injuries.

He said a photograph showed him and his father "both paragliding" last year.

Mr Melia, of Swords Manor Court, Swords, Co Dublin, told the court he was helping his father move furniture in a van on January 1, 2017, when their vehicle was struck by Mr Fitzgerald's car.

He said he remembered practically nothing of what happened in the accident, which had interfered with and diminished his lifestyle.

About seven hours after the accident, he had developed pain in his neck and upper back and had gone to his doctor.

He said he had to give up soccer, which meant the world to him, and going to the gym after the crash.

Mr Melia told Mr English, when he was shown the photographs, that he had continued training for football and playing and going to the gym after the accident.

Dismissed

Doctors in his medical reports recalled having been told by Mr Melia that he had been unable to get back to playing soccer and attending the gym.

"You have told this court a pack of lies," Mr English told Mr Melia in cross-examination.

Mr English told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that he was applying for the case to be dismissed on the basis that Mr Melia had misled doctors and the court in his evidence.

Following a lunchtime break in the proceedings, Judge Groarke was told that Mr Melia was withdrawing his claim.

Mr English said the defendants were not seeking an order for legal costs against him.