Boy who climbed barrier in Dublin park awarded €7,500

Seán Murray extremely lucky spike missed vital artery in right thigh

Seán Murray of Malahide, Co Dublin at the Four Courts. Photograph: Collins

Seán Murray of Malahide, Co Dublin at the Four Courts. Photograph: Collins


A 16-year-old schoolboy was lucky to survive when a metal spike penetrated his right thigh as he climbed over a barrier in a Dublin park, a court heard on Tuesday.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke told Seán Murray, now aged 18, he had been extremely lucky that the spike had missed a vital artery in his right thigh.

“He has been told by his surgeon that if the spike had gone half an inch off where it did and struck one of the arteries in his leg he would have expired,” Judge Groarke said.

Barrister Conor Kearney, who appeared for Mr Murray with Chris Horrigan of Blake Horrigan Solicitors, said the council had created an iron spiked gate made up of three sections of old barriers welded together to form part of an entrance used regularly by members of the public.

He said Mr Murray, then aged 16, had slipped and impaled his leg on a spike while crossing the locked gate which separated playing sports pitches at Millwood Park, Edenmore, Raheny, Dublin 5.

The teenager, of Talbot Road, Malahide, Co Dublin, told the court he had climbed over the spiked railings as a short-cut across the park. It was a barrier, which when shut was regularly climbed over by members of the public.

Judge Groarke said Mr Murray had established the criteria necessary to prove the council had shown reckless disregard for the safety of members of the public using the park but he had an obligation to himself to keep a look-out for what dangers there may be in his path.

“I have no doubt that at the age of 16 the dangers were very obvious to Seán and he chose to disregard them,” Judge Groarke said, awarding him €15,000 damages, but reducing the award by 50 per cent with reduced District Court costs.