Man who lost finger climbing fence at Luas stop seeks damages

Michael Kelly’s ring got caught as he climbed over fence to get to platform at Dundrum station

Michael Kelly pictured at the Four Courts  for the opening day of his High Court action for damages. Photograph: Collins Courts

Michael Kelly pictured at the Four Courts for the opening day of his High Court action for damages. Photograph: Collins Courts

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A man who lost a finger when he tried to climb a fence after seeing a tram at the Dundrum Luas station platform has sued for damages in the High Court.

Michael Kelly’s ring got caught in the fence as he climbed over it to get to the platform at the station on the Green Line. He claims he could not find the entrance to the station.

His counsel Robert Beatty SC said Mr Kelly had grabbed the top of the four foot high fence, his finger “degloved with his own body weight” and he later had to have the injured finger amputated.

Mr Kelly (43) Clare Village, Malahide Road, Co Dublin, has sued Luas operators, TransDev Dublin Light Rail Ltd and Transport Infrastructure Ireland, as a result of the incident on October 20th 2012.

Mr Kelly claims he had climbed steps which appeared to access the Luas stop and there was a gate and a fence but the gate was locked. He alleges failure to have a lift operational at the Dundrum Luas which would have enabled him to access the station and platform.

He also claims failure to take any or any reasonable care to see he would be reasonably safe in using the premises.

The claims are denied. The defendants also plead contributory negligence by Mr Kelly in allegedly attempting to access the Luas platform in a reckless and dangerous manner and not accessing the stop by way of a clearly-marked and signposted public access route.

It is further alleged Mr Kelly took an alleged dangerous and hazardous shortcut to access the platform and allegedly used a means of access which was clearly blocked and prohibited to members of the public.

Opening the case, Mr Beatty said Mr Kelly, who had not used the Green line before, had looked “high and low” for the Luas station entrance.

Posters on a lamppost blocked the view of a sign for the Luas and Mr Kelly saw what he thought was an access point under the bridge at Dundrum, counsel said.

In evidence, Mr Kelly said he tried the lift to the station platform but he thought it was out of order. “I had never been on the Green line before. I thought the stop would be under the bridge,” he said.

He said he walked on and he saw a “goat path” and climbed over one fence and thought there would be a gate at the top of the embankment.

As he went over the second fence which was about four foot high, he said: “I felt a tug, I lost all the meat off my finger.’

“None of this would have happened if I had seen the main entrance,” he said.

Cross-examined by David Nolan SC, with Simon Kearns BL, Mr Kelly said he did not see the sign for the Luas and just kept walking.

The case continues before Mr Justice Michael Hanna.

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