Family of 16-year-old who drowned in forest park lake settle action

The family of a 16-year old boy who drowned in a forest park lake have settled their High Court action over his death for €75,000.

At the time of his death, Jonathan Mongan was a promising young boxer.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the boy drowned despite his friend's efforts to save him after he fell off a jetty into the water at Killykeen Forest Park, Co Cavan.

Richard Kean Sc with Esther Earley BL told the court that other cases of nervous shock brought by the parents of Jonathan Mongan had previously been settled.

Mr Kean said it was a very tragic case where the young man had been attending a Youth Reach Department of Education programme at an educational and training facility at Ballinagh Road, Cavan. Counsel said the group went on an outing to the forest park on June 30, 2014.

Eight young people, who counsel said were unsupervised came across a jetty at a lake and Counsel said Jonathan fell in the water. Counsel said it was not known how the young man fell in the water, but a number of his friends jumped in to try and save him, but Jonathan drowned.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Cross said it was a very tragic and traumatic case for the close knit family who had lost a son at the cusp of adulthood. The Judge offered his sincere sympathy to the Mongan family and wished them well for the future.

Jonathan’s mother Teresa Mongan of John Paul Avenue, Cavan, Co. Cavan had sued Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board which managed the education and training facility where Jonathan Mongan was taking the Youth Reach programme. The action was also against Coillte Teoranta which was responsible for Killykeen Forest Park where the drowning took place.

Mrs Mongan claimed her family had suffered great mental distress, upset and anguish as a result of Jonathan's death

it was claimed there was an alleged failure on behalf of Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board to have any effective system of supervision in place on the trip to the park and that there were four tutors assigned to 21 students, which it was claimed they ought to have known was insufficient, The group of eight students including Jonathan Mongan it was further claimed were allegedly permitted to wander off alone without a tutor and were totally unsupervised in the park for a protracted period of time

The claims were denied.

It was claimed against Coillte Teoranta there was an alleged failure to have in place a locked gate restricting access to the jetty and an alleged failure to have in place at the time visible warning signage on the lake and at the jetty warning park visitors not to swim at the location and as to the depth and murkiness of the water.

It was also claimed there was an alleged failure at the time to have any life-saving devices in place around the jetty.

Coillte denied all claims.


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