Sister of K Club ex-manager says he was ‘full of fear’

Barbara Curran says Peter Curran was ‘half his weight’ two months after alleged incident

Peter Curran and his sister, Barbara Curran, arriving at the Four Courts on Thursday. Photograph: Collins Courts

Peter Curran and his sister, Barbara Curran, arriving at the Four Courts on Thursday. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

The twin sister of a former K Club catering manager who alleges he was threatened at Punchestown races has told the High Court he was “full of fear” when she met him two months after the alleged incident.

Barbara Curran was giving evidence in the action by Peter Curran against his former employer, the K Club Ltd, Straffan, Co Kildare; Dr Michael Smurfit; and K Club resort superintendent Gerry Byrne.

Mr Curran has claimed his way was blocked in the toilets at Punchestown Races on May 7th, 2011, by Mr Byrne, who allegedly said: “Dr Smurfit has not forgotten the statements about him and the call girls. Dr Smurfit knows where to find you and this is not over.” The defendants have denied all claims.

Mr Curran claims the words allegedly spoken by Mr Byrne related to references by Mr Curran, in pretrial documents in another case by him, to call girls being given free use of hotel facilities at the K Club.

On Thursday, Ms Curran said she met her brother in July 2011 at Heuston Station and he was “half his weight”.

She could not believe her eyes and it hit her “like a brick”, she said.

“It hit home something major had happened to Peter and he was full of fear,” she added.

She was extremely upset with his appearance, she said. “It was unbearable to see. It frightened me that somebody put the fear into someone else without rhyme or reason.”

Shared birthday

Cross-examined by Rossa Fanning SC, for Dr Smurfit, Ms Curran agreed she had not seen her brother until their shared birthday in July 2011, having previously seen him the Christmas before.

Mr Fanning said: “You were not well placed in July 2011 to attribute the symptoms to any particular event because at that stage you had not seen him physically for seven months.”

Ms Curran said she had spoken to her brother three to four times a week between May and July 2011 but he had not mentioned anything to her about Punchestown until they met “face to face”.

The case before Mr Justice Anthony Barr continues on Friday.

The judge has heard Mr Curran was catering manager at the K Club between September 1997 and October 1998, when he claims he was forced to leave.

He later brought an unfair dismissal case which was settled in March 1999.

He later brought High Court proceedings alleging breach of his constitutional rights to his good name and to earn a livelihood.

During the run-up to that case he had referred, in replies to written questions and particulars relating to alleged financial irregularities he claimed to have uncovered at the K Club, to call girls, sometimes sourced abroad, being given free use of the hotel facilities at the K Club.

Those High Court proceedings were settled in 2008 and it is claimed it was an implied term of the agreement that Mr Curran would not be threatened, harassed or intimidated in any manner.