Council agrees to pay €35,000 to settle boy’s kerb trips claim

Boy, now 16, allegedly fell three times on broken kerbing outside his home over a five-week period in 2014

A boy who allegedly fell three times in a five-week period on what was allegedly broken kerbing outside his local authority home has settled a High Court action for a total of €35,000.

John Mongan was seven-years-old when he first allegedly fell on the road outside his home in Tullamore, Co Offaly, on May 19th, 2014. He allegedly fell in the same area 12 days later and again after three weeks.

John, who is now 16, had through his mother, Liz Marie Mongan, sued Offaly County Council as a result of the alleged falls outside his then local authority home in Cloncollig.

All the claims in the action were denied.


His barrister, Colette Egan, told the court the boy has special needs. She said liability for the events was an issue in the case and it was contended by the council that there was a lack of supervision of the boy. She said his mother denied this and claimed the boy was playing outside very close to his home.

In an affidavit to the court, Ms Mongan said that on May 19th, 2014 her son was playing outside their local authority home and allegedly tripped and fell over some broken kerbing on the road. She said he suffered a buckle fracture of his wrist. He was brought to an emergency department where a cast was applied which he had to wear for two weeks.

Twelve days later on May 31st, 2014, Ms Mongan said her son was playing outside his home when he tripped and fell again on the kerbing. She said he suffered soft tissue injuries to his back and a further injury to his left wrist.

He was brought to hospital where a cast was reapplied to his wrist, and he got painkillers for his back injury.

Three weeks later, on June 22nd, 2014, it was claimed, the boy was playing again outside his home when he allegedly tripped and fell on the kerbing and struck his head. It was claimed he lost consciousness for about three minutes. Ms Mongan said he also suffered a fracture in the right wrist. The wrist fracture had to be manipulated under anaesthetic and a cast applied and his head injury was treated with painkillers.

Ms Mongan said a medical report covering two years after the alleged falls reported that the boy had occasional pain in his right wrist when lifting heavy bags but his fractures had fully healed.

Ms Mongan denied the council’s claim of lack of supervision and said she was nearby in the house.

She contended that the council was responsible for the upkeep of the area where the accidents allegedly happened and was allegedly aware of the existence of alleged damaged kerbing as Ms Mongan said she had previously complained about it. These matters remained in dispute in the case.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey approved the settlement, noting the liability issues and the matter raised in relation to alleged supervision.