Tipperary teacher settles case after crash that killed her parents

By Ann O'Loughlin

A woman who sustained multiple serious injuries in a head on car crash in which her parents died has settled her High Court action.

Emma Kenneally (35) told the High Court she had to be cut from the wreckage and thought she was going to die after a car veered onto her side of the road as she drove home from a shopping trip in Kilkenny.

Her father, Tom Kenneally (65), a farmer, and mother Angela (61), from outside Templemore, Co Tipperary, died as a result of the accident which happened about six kilometres outside Kilkenny city on August 24, 2011.

It was claimed the car which veered across the road and ploughed into Ms Kenneally’s car did so after a psychiatric patient who was a front seat passenger allegedly grabbed the wheel of the car, being driven by his sister.

Ms Kenneally fractured all four limbs as well her spine and ribs and spent three months in hospital after the accident.

Ms Kenneally (pictured above), a teacher, of Barnane, Templemore, had sued Elizabeth Dillon, Bowsfield, Killerig, Tullow, Co Carlow, the owner and the driver of the other car and Ms Dillon's brother, Sean, of the same address who was the front passenger in the car.

It was alleged Sean Dillon grabbed the driver's wheel as his sister drove.

Ms Kenneally had also sued the HSE, as owner of St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny where Sean Dillon had received treatment.

She had also sued the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland arising from the allegation Sean Dillon was in control of the car at the time of the accident.

It was alleged the reason Ms Dillon's car went onto the incorrect side of the road was because her driving was compromised by the actions of Sean Dillon, at that time a psychiatric patient under the care of the HSE at St Luke's Hospital.

It was further alleged against Ms Dillon that she allowed her brother to travel as a front seat passenger when she knew or ought to have known it was potentially unsafe to do so.

It was claimed against the HSE that it allegedly released Mr Dillon into the care of his sister when it was allegedly dangerous and unsafe to do so and there was alleged failure to ensure there was adequate assistance available to Ms Dillon to manage the behaviour of her brother.

The claims were denied.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr, who had heard evidence over several days, was told the case had been settled.

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