Woman saw ‘Mary Poppins’ type bag on floor after friend’s airport fall

Catherine Gallagher (80) seeking damages over knee injury casued by trip in security area

Catherine Gallagher, from  Bray, Co Wicklow, has taken a High Court action for damages after a fall at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Catherine Gallagher, from Bray, Co Wicklow, has taken a High Court action for damages after a fall at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Collins Courts.

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A woman whose travel companion is suing for damages after falling over another passenger’s baggage at Dublin Airport has told the High Court she saw a “Mary Poppins” type bag on the ground after her friend fell.

Mary Treacy, who was travelling to Vietnam with Catherine Gallagher, said it was a bulky carpet type bag and dark in colour.

Afer the fall, Ms Gallagher kept saying she was all right and she would be fine but her knee was hurting, Ms Treacy said.

She was giving evidence on the second day of the action by Ms Gallagher (80), from Bray, Co Wicklow, against the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), which manages Dublin Airport.

Ms Gallagher has sued over knee injuries allegedly suffered as a result of the fall on April 14th, 2014 at Terminal Two. The court heard the incident happened as Ms Gallagher went through a security check on her way to get her flight to Vietnam.

Ms Gallagher, who had had a left knee replacement some years earlier, had been hand scanned after the metal detector sounded as she went through it. She was standing to the side when she fell over baggage on the floor.

Trip hazards

She has alleged a failure to prevent other passengers from creating trip hazards during the security screening of passengers and failure to ensure a safe system for the security screening of passengers transiting the terminal.

Ms Gallagher claims she experienced severe disruption in her subsequent travel plans and in her way of life as she was immobilised for about six months and was unable to visit her grandchildren in the US.

The DAA has denied liability and contends Ms Gallagher failed to pay any, or any adequate, attention to what was going on about her and failed to notice the items on the floor.

In evidence, Ms Treacy said the bag she saw on the ground was like a rolled up carpet, like a “Mary Poppins bag”. She said another woman picked up the bag and walked away. Ms Gallagher has told the court she opted to continue with her travel plans as she thought she was okay.

However, she had to use a wheeelchair in Vietnam and after two days was taken to hospital in Ho Chi Minh city where a fracture above her replaced knew was detected. She was transferred by air ambulance to Thailand and spent 10 days in a hospital in Bangkok. She was then transferred back to Dublin in another air ambulance.

The case continues.

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