Schoolgirl sues parents over crash that killed her sister


A SCHOOLGIRL who was seriously injured in a road crash in which her young sister and a friend died has sued her mother – who was driving the car while uninsured and banned from driving – and her father as owner of the vehicle.

The High Court heard the children’s father, who never lived with their mother, had raised concerns about the care of his daughters with social services in the months leading up to the fatal crash.

Faith Varden-Carberry was seven when the car driven by her mother, at the time banned from driving, ploughed into a mud embankment on a disused road outside Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, on the night of November 26th, 2007.

Faith’s six-year-old sister Ava and her friend Michaela Logan were killed while another child passenger in the vehicle was injured.

The children’s mother, Mary Carberry (35), a chronic alcoholic, was later jailed for four years over the incident.

After the crash, Faith underwent surgery and was transferred to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin were she was treated in a spinal cast for about 10 weeks.

It is claimed Faith suffered severe psychological trauma and upset following the incident and had attended a child psychologist for three months afterwards.

In the High Court yesterday, Faith (12), Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes, Co Longford, suing through her grandfather Anthony Carberry, St Mel’s Road, Longford, brought an action against her father, Thomas Varden, Renville Village, Oranmore, Co Galway; her mother Mary Carberry, Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes, and the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland.

It is claimed a car, the property of Mr Varden but driven by Ms Carberry, who was uninsured, was driven on November 26th, 2007, into collision at or near the old Dublin Road, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford.

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill was told Mr Varden did not deny he was the owner of the car but contends it was being driven by Ms Carberry without his authority. Judgment against Ms Carberry has already been obtained.

In his evidence, Mr Varden, a businessman, said he had met Ms Carberry when he was aged 60 and she was 23. She was hitching a lift at the time and had been a psychiatric patient.

They had two children but never lived together. He kept in contact with the children at all times and provided accommodation for them, he said.

When Ms Carberry was put off the road prior to this crash, he said the children had to walk 1½ miles to school.

The case continues.