€100,000 for woman hurt escaping groper


A young Dublin woman who sustained a serious leg injury from a fall while trying to get away from a man who was groping her has been awarded €100,000 damages by the High Court.

Laura Monaghan sustained what Mr Justice John Hedigan described “as a serious and unpleasant” injury to her leg as a result of falling from a platform she was dancing on while trying to escape the inappropriate attentions of Martin O’Brien. The incident occurred while Ms Monaghan was on holiday on the Greek island of Kos on May 14th, 2003, when she was aged 16 .

Ms Monaghan (now aged 25) of Greenfort Avenue, Quarryvale, Clondalkin, sued Mr O’Brien, with addresses at The Old Domain, Borrisokane, Co Tipperary, and The Green, Clara, Co Offaly, for assault. The case was before the court for assessment of damages only. Judgment had previously been obtained against Mr O’Brien. No defence was tendered on his behalf.

The court heard that Ms Monaghan was out dancing at a premises called Down Under in Kos with her sister when Mr O’Brien groped her. He was warned about his conduct, but persisted with what was inappropriate behaviour.

Ms Monaghan tried to move away, but Mr O’Brien’s actions caused her to trip and fall. As she fell from the platform her leg struck a glass counter. She sustained serious injuries to her left leg. She was seen by a doctor in Greece and was flown home two days after the incident. She attended Tallaght Hospital, was placed in a cast and was in pain for some time. Her injuries had affected her ability to take part in sports, school, her part-time job and socially. She also required physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

Mr Justice Hedigan said Ms Monaghan was entitled to damages of €100,000 against Mr O’Brien.