Child wins damages for shock after helicopter crash


A six-year-old girl, who, it was claimed, suffered nervous shock four years ago when a helicopter crashed and exploded in a car park at Bettystown, Co Meath, has been awarded €10,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Barrister Mark Dunne, counsel for Emma Reddan, of Riverstown, Rathfeigh, Co Meath, said she had been a passenger in her mother, Marina's, car when the helicopter came down in the car park of the Neptune Hotel, Bettystown, on September 18th, 2008.

Mr Dunne said the Sikorsky S76, piloted by Bill Curry, of the Crescent, Riverside Manor, Kilcullen, Co Kildare, was attempting to land in the car park when a rotor blade struck a lamp post.

Mrs Reddan's car, with Emma inside, had been passing nearby at the time. She had later, according to a psychiatrist's report, suffered from separation anxiety disorder.

The District Court heard that Mr Curry accepted it was an error by him to have attempted to squeeze in to the car park, which was too small for the helicopter's blades.

Yesterday, through her mother, Emma sued Mr Curry and GP Helicopter Services Limited, Woodstown Dale, Knocklyon, Dublin, and Barrack Construction Limited, Thomastown, Caragh, Naas, Co Kildare.

She was awarded a €10,000 settlement from insurers on the part of the defendants.