A legal loophole has been exposed regarding the legislation governing the safety of Irish funfairs after a 12-year-old girl allegedly broke her neck on a rollarcoaster ride at Tayto Park.
Eoin Moran, the father of the young teenager who claims she was injured at the popular theme park, said he was shocked when he learned his daughter had broken her neck.
According to an report on RTE's Prime Time, there is no state body with the power to investigate incidents that occur on Irish funfairs and by law funfairs do not have to tell the authorities of the number of incidents that occur on their rides.
When contacted by Prime Time Tayto Park said it was not made aware of the extent of the girl's alleged injuries until four weeks later at which time the park said they carried out a full investigation into the incident.
Mr Moran, the father of the young teen who was allegedly injured while visiting the park said he made the decision to speak publicly about the incident in the hope of raising awareness to the issue of the lack of governance over funfair safety.
Mr Moran said his daughter visited the park on August 22, 2016 and complained of neck pain the next day. They contacted Tayto Park, who Mr Moran said were sympathetic and offered them free rides the next time they visited the park.
Although originally suspecting the pain was caused by whiplash, he said it later became clear, after tests four weeks later, that the girl had actually broken her neck.
The teenager required two surgeries over the next few days and was back in for surgery in December of 2016.
“The medical team have made it very clear to us that this is a very serious injury and she is lucky to be breathing and lucky to be alive.”
A statement from Tayto Park on the issue said that they would be defending the issue rigourously and that they were very proud of their Health and Safety standards.
This is the second accident that has occured at the park in the past six months.
Back in October a staircase collapsed in Halloween House of Horrors and reopened six days later.
Tayto Park said they had met the requirements of the relevant authorities with regard to that incident
According to the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Meath County Council were said to have been investigating the matter.
However, when contacted by Prime Time, a statement was released by the body stating: “The Council has no role in investigating such incidents... Responsibility for the safety of the public on the site rests with the owner/operator.”
Tayto Park insists that a full independent investigation was carried out into the House of Horrors incident.
We have contacted Tayto Park for additional comment.