Child scarred in dog attack awarded €207k

A five-year-old girl visiting family friends with her mother on the October bank holiday weekend of 2012 was attacked by a dog who bit her face and right ear causing extensive lacerations.

Yesterday, she was awarded €207,500 in court.

The award was approved by Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh and lodged in court for the benefit of the young plaintiff until she reaches the age of 18.

Clodagh Walshe was five years old at the time of the incident and is now eight.

The case was brought through her mother Marie Walshe of Moorepark East, Kilworth, Co Cork, against the insurers for the owners of the dog, a labrador/ greyhound crossbreed.

Ms Walshe said it was the most traumatic thing ever. She would never forget it.

John O’Mahony, senior counsel for the plaintiff, outlined the case at the High Court sitting in Cork.

“This is a sad case. The young girl, who is now eight and a half, was five years and two months at the time and she went to a friend of her mother’s house.

“They were taking a present to the house of the other person.

“Unfortunately, a dog severely attacked Clodagh causing horrific injuries to her right face. There were very significant scars,” Mr O’Mahony SC said.

The injured party came under the care of Eoin O’Broin, consultant plastic surgeon, who testified: “I don’t know the suture count but it would have been quite considerable,” he said.

The consultant described some of the measures taken to reduce the extent of residual scarring.

Ms Walshe said at the High Court: “We are nearly four years on from the accident and she still wakes up every night.”

She recalled the day of the incident and giving directions to the ambulance service on that jazz festival weekend to get to the house in north Cork.

The defendants in the action were Neville Howard and Frances Foley of Ballyhindon, Fermoy, Co Cork, the owners of the dog.

Their insurers offered the €207,500 in settlement of the civil action.

Mr Justice MacEochaidh approved the settlement offer to be lodged in court for the benefit of the plaintiff.


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