A man whose neck was slashed when a fight erupted at a wedding has lost a legal action for damages against the hotel where the function took place.
Thomas Connors, aged 22, of The Paddocks, Kilcock, Co Kildare, was 14 when he attended a cousin’s wedding at the Lumville House Hotel in the Curragh, Co Kildare, where he was attacked in a “stampede” of people trying to get out of a function room where a free-for-all broke out, the High Court heard.
He sued hotel proprietor Michael Lambe over the incident on November 27, 2006, which he said left him with a scar on the back of his neck and led to him having nightmares for two years.
It was claimed there was a failure to prevent access to the function by unruly people or have proper security in place. It was also claimed that because the family, who are Travellers, had paid a €1,000 breakage deposit, the hotel should have had security in place.
The Lambe family, who have run the hotel since 1971, denied the claims and said although there had been trouble at one previous Traveller wedding, they had an unwritten policy not to put in security because they believed it was not required as it was a family function.
The case was originally brought in the Circuit Court where it was dismissed. It was appealed yesterday before president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, who also dismissed the action.
The judge said nothing could have been done to avoid what was “an outbreak of savagery” that night. It was fair to describe the scene afterwards as one of devastation with photos showing blood on the walls, chairs and tables upturned and glass everywhere, he said.
He praised the Lambe family for the non-discriminatory way in which they treated the cousins of Mr O’Connor who had booked the wedding. He said the hotel made no presumptions about those booking the event and did “not treat them as guilty” just because they were members of the Travelling community.
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