By Ann O'Loughlin
Irish Boxing champion Ceire Smith who claimed her boxing career was damaged after she swallowed a sharp dental instrument during root canal treatment has settled her High Court action.
The 25-year-old Cavan BC flyweight could have been the next Katie Taylor and could have qualified for the Rio Olympics 2016, her counsel Michael J McMahon SC told the High Court at the opening of the case.
Boxing coach Billy Walsh flew in from Colorado in the US and was due to give evidence that Ceire Smith would have qualified for Rio 2016 and was expected to get a medal.
When the case was called before Mr Justice Moriarty today he was told it had been settled. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
The judge said he was very glad to hear the case had been resolved and said having read the papers in the action overnight, he said it was a "troubling case".
He wished Ms Smith every success in the future in the advancement of her career.
Ceire Smith had sued her dentist and the HSE after the sharp instrument dropped down her throat during root canal treatment in October 2013 but she was told it would pass through her system.
Instead, her counsel told the court it travelled inside her body, lodging near her hip only centimetres from her femoral artery. The instrument was eventually taken out of the boxer's body in September 2014 during surgery.
Counsel handed in pictures to the court of the instrument, which he said was sharp and was a barbed broach instrument.
During this time Mr McMahon said the boxer was in training as an elite athlete to go for qualifiers to compete in the Rio Olympics.
"In a nutshell Billy Walsh will say she would have qualified for Rio 2016. Irish ladies boxing was going through a golden era and Billy Walsh will say she was the next Katie Taylor and she would have got a medal," Counsel told Mr Justice Michael Moriarty at the opening of the case.
Ms Smith, a student from Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, had sued her dentist Rachael Frazer, with a dental practice at Church Street, Cavan and the HSE.
Liability had been admitted in the case which was before the court for assessment of damages only.
She claimed the dentist failed to use dental floss or other material to attach to the instrument so it could be retrieved and not swallowed and advised Ms Smith the piece of equipment would be passed by her in days and "it was just a little bit of metal".
Against the HSE, Ms Smith claimed there was a failure to refer her on to a gastroenterologist who could have arranged imaging to track and check on the position of the instrument and undertake appropriate management. She further claimed she was advised she was fit to engage in boxing competition.
Ms Smith claimed she competed in the multi-nations in March 2014 in Germany but felt very weak and performed badly. In April of that year she competed in Poland and lost and had severe abdominal pain.
She said she went back to Cavan General Hospital at the end of April 2014 but was told she could continue to compete. In September 2014, Ms Smith returned to Cavan General Hospital in pain but was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.
After investigations she had two bouts of surgery and the instrument was removed from her body at the end of September 2014.
She was unable to partake in the world championships in South Korea in November 2014 and this it was claimed was damaging to her career and hugely upsetting for her.