Woman aiming to sue state over childhood abuse awaits EU ruling

The European Court of Human Rights.

A Cork woman who was abused by her school principal will find out later if she can sue the State for damages.

Louise O'Keeffe had brought the case to the European Court of Human Rights after the Supreme Court ruled against her in 2008.

In 1973, aged just 9, Louise O'Keeffe was abused by her school principal Leo Hickey at Dunderrow National School near Kinsale.

Hickey was subsequently jailed for three years, and was ordered to pay Ms O'Keeffe over three hundred thousand euro in damages in a civil action.

Following further legal action, both the High Court and Supreme Court dismissed a claim of direct negligence against the State.

They ruled that the State didn't directly employ Hickey, and as a result was not liable.

Louise O'Keeffe argued in Europe that the structures in place didn't properly protect her. The ruling will be handed down later this morning.

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