Man with brain injury after being hit by pensioner settles case for €2m

Kieran Houlihan was aged 16 when car mounted footpath by woman who claims she had blackout

Kieran Houlihan, pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterdaty. Photograph: Collins Courts

Kieran Houlihan, pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterdaty. Photograph: Collins Courts


A young man who suffered a severe brain injury after being knocked when a car driven by a pensioner, who claimed she had a blackout, mounted a footpath has settled his High Court action for €2m.

Kieran Houlihan was aged 16 at the time of the accident in 2012.

He was walking on the footpath outside a school in Clonmel town, Co Tipperary, when he was struck from the front by the car. He fell back striking his head.

His counsel Patrick Treacy SC said the driver, Ms Mary Ryan, who has since died, was aged in her late seventies and thought she may have had a complete blackout. She had also been diagnosed with a heart condition.

The DPP, after reviewing the case, had decided not to press charges over the accident in 2012.

Mr Houlihan, now aged 22, of Oakland Drive, Clonmel, had, through his mother Beverly Houlihan, sued the car driver, Mary Ryan of Anne Street, Clonmel, as a result of the accident outside Colaiste Cluain Meala, Raheen Road, Clonmel, on May 22nd, 2012.

It was claimed Mrs Ryan had failed to manage or control her car so as to avoid the collision, was driving in a careless manner and failed to keep her car on the road.

The claims were denied and Mrs Ryan’s side contended the accident occurred as a result of her suffering a blackout which rendered her unable to control the car and avoid colliding with the teenager.

It was pleaded the accident occurred as a result of the alleged blackout and Mrs Ryan had no legal liability for it.

Mr Houlihan, the court heard, was taken to South Tipperary General Hospital and later transferred to Cork University Hospital where he had a left temporal craniotomy.

He was discharged back to the Tipperary Hospital on June 7th and was admitted to the National Rehabilitation Hospital Dun Laoghaire, Dublin in August where he remained until October 2012.

Counsel said his client suffered a very significant brain injury and the back left side of the head took the brunt.

Before the accident Kieran was very interested in soccer and now suffers from memory difficulties, counsel added.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross praised Kieran’s family for their care for him and wished Kieran well for the future.