Teacher settles case after losing finger in table-saw

A case taken by a construction studies teacher, who lost his right index finger as a result of an accident with a mechanical table-saw, was settled out of court on undisclosed terms yesterday.

The case taken by Aidan Keane, aged 47, of Old Court, Greenfields, Ballincollig, Co Cork, against Coachford Community College was due to resume before Mr Justice Robert Haughton at the High Court sitting in Cork.

However, there were talks between the parties, after which the judge was told the case had been settled on undisclosed terms.

John O’Mahony, for Mr Keane, said: “He is a devoted teacher. It is a vocation. He is dedicated to his students. He is one of these very conscientious, careful persons. There is a hope he will get back on the horse again.”

Mr Keane said he is teaching 11 hours a week and also working part-time on his uncle’s farm.

On the day of the accident on September 12, 2013, he was cutting pieces of wood in preparation for classes at the school. No students were present.

He was feeding an 8ft x 4ft piece of pine, 0.75in thick, into the table-saw to cut long strips first.

He said he was ripping the wood, meaning that the cut was along the grain, having previously adjusted the saw for the required measurements.

“I was holding the wood with two hands and feeding it in. My right hand was underneath the board. My left hand was on the left side of the board. Your right hand goes on top of the board I was feeding the timber in,” said Mr Keane.

The plaintiff said he reached the point where he had to move his right hand on to the top of the board.

“I felt a pulling action. That is how I injured my hand. I have no exact memory of the incident itself.

“I went to push the last bit. I felt a pulling action. That pulled forward. That was the sensation I felt. I could see bone sticking through my skin.

“I went to the staff room. I kicked open the door and said, ‘ring an ambulance’,” he recalled.


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