Widow of man who fell down steps at Kerry beach settles High Court action

Dublin man died two months after fall at Clogher beach on the Dingle peninsula

The widow of a 70 year old man who died two months after he fell down steps at a Co Kerry beach has settled her High Court action.

John Williams (70) from Upper Kilmacud Road in Dundrum, Dublin 14, died at the Mater Hospital on October 1st, 2013 over two months after he fell at Clogher beach on the Dingle peninsula.

In the High Court on Tuesday Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told Mr Williams' wife Marian has settled her High Court action against Kerry County Council over the accident six years ago. The action was settled for an undisclosed sum.

The couple, who were married 45 years, were holidaying in Ballyferriter when they drove to Clogher at 11am on July 24th, 2013.


Ms Williams previously told Dublin Coroners Court it was a beautiful day and her husband went for a walk while she went back to the car. At around midday she became concerned and went searching for him. She headed toward the steps down to the beach, and saw her husband lying face down on a bank of rocks. She initially thought he was dead.

Ms Williams screamed for help and an ambulance was called but it had to travel from Tralee, a distance of 30 kilometres.

Mr Williams was later diagnosed with a traumatic cervical spinal injury on transfer to the Mater Hospital. His condition continued to deteriorate and he died on October 1st, 2013.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of misadventure at the inquest into his death.

In her action against Kerry Co Council it was claimed by Ms Williams that there was a failure to provide any or any proper handrail for use at the steps at Clogher Beach at the time. It was also claimed there was failure to remove rocks and stones from the end of the steps which allegedly posed a danger or hazard. It was also claimed there was failure to properly or adequately maintain and or repair the access and egress to the public area.

Mr Williams suffered fatal injuries and died from multi organ failure secondary to fractures and dislocation of the cervical spine, it was claimed.

The claims were denied and it was contended there was contributory negligence on the part of Mr Williams over allegedly failing to negotiate the steps to the beach in a careful manner.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross extended his sympathy to Ms Williams and her family.