€87,000 for woman hurt by 'flying' dog which was hit by car


AN ELDERLY woman, who was knocked unconscious and suffered injuries after being struck by a “flying” hunt dog as it ricocheted off the bonnet of a car, has been awarded €87,000 damages at the High Court.

Rosemary Skrine (81), secretary of the Island Hunt, suffered head, knee and hip injuries in the accident on the Gorey to Courtown road in Co Wexford on November 29th, 2005.

She claimed she had been standing in the centre of the road, seeking to wave down traffic so as to alert it to a loose dog from the hunt on the wrong side of the road. Her concern was for the safety of the public and she got out of her vehicle, in which she had been following the hunt, and waved to traffic from the middle of the road.

She claimed traffic coming from one side had stopped but a car – driven by Abbas Ahmed – hit the hound in a “very big way”. She in turn was hit by the hound, which later died, and she fell to the road and was knocked unconscious.

Ms Skrine, Ballyrankin House, Bunclody, Co Wexford, brought the action against Mr Ahmed, a bus driver, Brannogue Park, Gorey, and the Island Hunt, with registered office at Sinnottstown Business Park, Drinagh.

President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns yesterday awarded €87,000 to Ms Skrine against Mr Ahmed and ruled that Island Hunt had no case to meet.

The judge praised Ms Skrine on her approach to the case, found she gave a very reliable account of what had happened and did not attempt to exaggerate her claim.

He ruled that she was clearly visible to Mr Ahmed at the time of the incident and should have been seen in the centre of the road.

He said she was a very active woman up to the time of the incident, which had been a major disruption to her life.

Ruling that there was no case against the hunt, he found it was well organised and had taken every precaution.

He held that Mr Ahmed was negligent in the circumstances. The accident had occurred on a quite straight stretch of road in daylight when the hunt was endeavouring to cross the road.

One member of the hunt near the scene was dressed in red and should have been visible to him.

Mr Justice Kearns said significant traffic coming from one side had stopped but, for some reason, Mr Amhed failed to realise the significance of what lay ahead.

Ms Skrine said her husband died in 1966. she had one son and a daughter and lived in a large rambling house. Before November 2005, she bred hunter show horses and acted as a show judge here and internationally.

She was a keen gardener and would be “on the go” all day at that time. She had been secretary of the hunt club for 41 years.