Woman sues Irish National Parks and Wildlife after fall on Wicklow Way

By William O’Toole

A Dublin Hill walker, who has climbed the Himalayas in the past is suing the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service for €60,000 following a fall on The Wicklow Way.

Teresa Wall (59) of Rathingle Cottages, Swords, told the Circuit Civil Court today that she could no longer run marathons or climb mountains as a result of injuries she suffered following a laceration to her knee which required 7 stitches.

The court heard that Ms Wall, who is a house-wife suffered the injury after she slipped on a board walk in the Wicklow Mountains National Park.

Her Barrister, Peter McParland also told the court that the victims foot had gotten caught in a hole in one of the railway sleepers that make up the board walk on the Sally Gap to Djouce trail.

It was also heard that this was the first time that the INPWS had ever been sued for negligence and breach of duty, despite numerous falls by walkers in parts nationwide over the years.

Representing the Service, Kevin D’Arcy claimed that Ms Wall had voluntarily participated in the activity and would have known the risks associated, therefore the Service was entitled to rely on the doctrine of volente non fit injuria.

The victim, who suffered the injury when she slipped onto a rusty nail has claimed that the board walk in question was in a ‘disgraceful’ state.

Mr D’Arcy said the defendant denied any negligence but pleaded  contributory negligence on the part of Ms Wall in the event of a finding against them.

Forensic engineer Pat Culleton told the court that a single sleeper had  rotted away at the point where steel cleats had once attached the rail line to it, however, the walk had been passed as ‘fit for purpose’ by two outdoor recreation consultants

Judgement was reserved.


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