Kilkenny woman (88) secures €160,000 settlement over alleged trip and fall on footpath

Sarah Mahoney claims hazardous broken section of footpath caused her to lose footing and fall

An 88-year-old woman who claimed she suffered injuries after tripping and falling on a footpath in Kilkenny city has settled her High Court action for €160,000.

Sarah Mahoney, of Pearse Street in the city, had sued Kilkenny County Council over the alleged fall almost four years ago.

She claimed she was caused to lose her footing when she encountered an alleged defective and hazardous broken section of footpath.

David Kennedy SC, for Ms Mahoney, told the High Court it was their case that his client was walking near McDonagh Street, not far from her home, on the afternoon of September 19th, 2020 when she tripped and fell on an allegedly broken section of footpath.


He said Ms Mahoney fell forward on to her face and outstretched arm, resulting in fractures to her arm and an injury to her face. She suffered an immediate nosebleed and was brought to hospital by ambulance.

She spent five days in hospital and, counsel said, had to cared for at home by her daughter for a further three weeks afterwards. Counsel said their engineering expert would say there appeared to be vehicular damage to the footpath.

Before the incident, Mr Kennedy said, Ms Mahoney was a very active lady who loved going to play bingo but this later changed. He told Mr Justice Paul Coffey the Mahoney side would face a battle about liability in the case and all the claims were denied by Kilkenny County Council.

In the proceedings, which Ms Mahoney brought through her daughter, Catherine Conde, it was claimed there was a failure in the construction of the footpath to ensure it would be capable of taking the weight of vehicular traffic. It was further claimed that there was a failure to adequately compact the subbase of the path and, as a result, it was allegedly caused to subside and break.

There was an alleged failure to ensure that portion of the footpath was safe and suitable for pedestrians such as Ms Mahoney. All the claims were denied.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey noted there was a significant litigation risk in the case. The judge said he thought the offer was fair and reasonable.