Engineer outlines dangers of throwing items at lingerie parties

Barry Tennyson giving evidence in case taken by woman against injuries allegedly suffered at Ann Summers party

An engineer has told the High Court a "proper risk assessment" should be carried out in advance of throwing items in the air at Ann Summers lingerie parties where alcohol is being served. He was not saying such parties should be banned, Barry Tennyson said.

Mr Tennyson was giving evidence in the continuing action by Sylvia Deehan who has sued over injuries to her ribs allegedly suffered as a result of being shoved aside by another woman when an item, described as a “ring that goes around a certain part” of the male anatomy, was thrown into the air during an Ann Summers Party at a Dublin pub.

The Ann Summers Party was part of a Ladies Night at the pub, the highlight of which was a performance by the Male strippers the “Hunks of Desire,” on January 21st 2011.

The second day of the action heard conflicting evidence from witnesses as to events concerning the party at the Lough Inn, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin, on January 21st 2011.


Ms Deehan (46), Maple Avenue, Ballybrack, Dublin, has alleged she was pushed by another woman who was striving to grab the ring which was thrown in the air by an Ann Summers rep. She alleges she suffered the injuries when she fell against loudspeaker equipment after being shoved aside by the other woman.

She lost her case in the Circuit Court and has appealed to the High Court.

The case is against the pub owner, Loughlinstown Inn Ltd, trading as the Lough Inn Public House. It denies any liability and argues that any injuries sustained by Ms Deehan, whom it is alleged was put out of the pub that night by a member of staff, occurred outside the bar.

Today, Mr Justice Max Barrett heard evidence from staff at the bar and from people who attended the event to the effect they did not see Ms Deehan fall or notice anything unusual happening in the pub that night.

Another witness, Dave Carraher, a DJ who was working at the pub that night, said he remembered Ms Deehan falling and colliding with the sound equipment. She fell against the equipment and injured her side and he asked her if she was okay, he said.

Barry Tennyson, an engineer who gave technical evidence on Ms Deehan’s behalf, said it was dangerous for a prize to be thrown among a group of adults in a circulation area at a venue where alcohol is served.

Cross-examined by Joe McGettigan SC, for the pub, Mr Tennyson said he was not saying Ann Summers parties should be banned but rather a proper risk assessment should have been carried out in advance.

Shane Watters, a former barman at the Lough Inn, told Mr McGettigan he had escorted Ms Deehan off the premises that night arising from a few minor complaints made against her by staff and customers.

Ms Deehan was being “rowdy” and was asked “to keep it down,” Mr Watters said. She had used “colourful language” towards him after he spoke to her, he said.

Under cross examination by Mark de Blacam SC, for Ms Deehan, Mr Watters said his version of events was the truth. He agreed he had been in a relationship with the bar owner’s daughter and they had two children together but said they had split up.

Niamh Kielty, the Ann Summers representative who conducted the party, said she could not remember anything out of the ordinary happening at the pub that night.

Pub manager Leigh Murphy said CCTV pictures taken from cameras in the pub that night did not show Ms Deehan fall as she has claimed. The CCTV pictures had been erased, she said.

Under cross examination by Mr De Blacam, Ms Murphy, whose father owns the pub, denied she had put pressure on a friend of Ms Deehan, Kim Henderson, not to give evidence against the pub.

Ms Murphy said she had called to Ms Henderson’s home shortly after the incident and Ms Henderson gave a statement saying that she did not see anything that night. Ms Murphy accepted Ms Henderson rang her the following day and asked to withdraw the statement.

Ms Murphy said the statement had already been sent to the insurance company.

The case continues tomorrow.