Man claims he sustained brain injury after fall on way home from pub in Westport

Man Claims He Sustained Brain Injury After Fall On Way Home From Pub In Westport
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High Court reporter

A software engineer who claims he suffered a severe traumatic brain injury after he fell through an alleged gap in a stone wall as he walked along a street in Westport has launched a High Court action.

David Foley claims he fell down over four metres to concrete below and suffered multiple injuries.


He had been at a local pub and a takeaway and was on the way back with friends to a house outside the town when the accident happened at Quay Street, Westport, after midnight on August 19th, 2012.

His counsel, Michael Byrne SC, instructed by David O’Riordain solicitors, told the court that Mr Foley has had a complete personality change since the accident. Before the accident, Mr Byrne said "the sky was the limit" for Mr Foley in relation to his work in computer programming, but he has not worked since the accident.

The claim includes one for loss of earnings “at a very significant level” to date, and into the future.

David Foley (48), of Pearse Road, Sligo, has sued Michael and Geraldine Foy, the owners of McCarthy’s Lodge, a public house and guesthouse at Quay Street, Westport, Co Mayo. Mr Foy has since died.


It was claimed during previous development work, a stone wall was partially demolished and it is alleged the level of the wall at the point where it adjoins the public house and guesthouse was left lower than the original wall and was a tripping hazard.

He has also sued Sheelagh Ryan, now deceased, of Church Street, Westport, the owner of lands adjacent to and bounded on one side by the public house and guesthouse.

The case is also against Mayo County Council, because it is claimed that the wall may be part of the public road.

The court heard that a number of issues have to be determined, including whether the gap constituted a trip or hazard; who owned the wall and where exactly and why Mr Foley fell.


Contributory negligence is also alleged against Mr Foley, including that he had allegedly consumed alcohol to such an extent that it impaired his judgement, gait and perception.

Mr Byrne told the court that Mr Foley admitted drinking a number of pints on the night of the accident, but he was not intoxicated.

Philip Prescott from Essex, England, who was with Mr Foley and his wife on the night, said they went to a pub for three or four hours and had about five or six drinks before leaving at 11.30pm. He said they went to a local takeaway and he left there with Mr Foley and his then wife, Sandra O’Malley, to go back to the O Malley home.

He said they were walking along the road with Mr Foley slightly behind him when “David disappeared.”


He said Mr Foley’s wife Sandra asked where he was. Mr Prescott said he could not see anything, but they could hear groaning.

Counsel for the Foys put it to the witness that it was their case that Mr Foley was severely intoxicated. Mr Prescott said he disagreed, and said Mr Foley did not appear to be severely intoxicated.

The case before Mr Justice Paul Coffey continues.

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