Action against council following road death of 22 year-old woman is settled

A High Court action by the family of a 22-year old woman killed in a road accident nearly thirteen years has been settled.

The mother of Ashling Gallagher, who was killed instantly in the accident in Co Mayo in 2004, sued the local council and roadwork companies over the condition of road surface which it was alleged caused the accident.

The settlement was without admission of liability.

Ms Gallagher was driving on the N59 Newport to Mulranny Road when her car veered on to the wrong side in to the path of a cement truck.

An inquest jury, in 2011, returned a verdict that her death was accidental.

Desmond O’Neill SC, for the family, told the court the matter had been settled and a statement was to be read out on behalf of the defendants.

The statement, read by Aonghus O’Brolchain SC, said: "All loss of life on Mayo roads is a source of regret and Mayo Co Council regrets the death of Ashling Gallagher on December 22, 2004, and does so without admission of liability".

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who noted there were no dependents in the case, agreed to Mr O’Neill’s request to strike out the case.

The deceased’s mother, Kathleen Gallagher, Askill, Bunnacurry, Achill Island, Co Mayo, brought the personal injuries action on behalf of the family,

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to adequately or at all to resurface, renew or repair the road surface so as to prevent it from becoming a source of danger to members of the public.

It was also claimed remedial work was carried out to the road was inadequate and incomplete.

It was further claimed there was a failure to consider the needs of all road users and in particular that motorists be given advance warning of the condition of the road surface.

The claims were denied.

It was also denied the collision was caused by reasons of any. negligence, breach of duty or misfeasance on the part of the defendants.

It was accepted, in the defence, that the death of Ms Gallagher has caused her family great mental distress, shock and anguish. However, it was contended the collision was not the fault of the council and that it bore no liability in law.

The case had been mentioned before the court last month and was expected to take several weeks to hear.

KEYWORDS: Road death


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