Man in court over falling traffic cone injury

A 29-YEAR-OLD man appeared in a Scottish court yesterday over an incident in which an Irish student was seriously injured by a falling traffic cone.

Kate Flannery, 23, from Galway, suffered spinal injuries after being hit by the cone in Edinburgh early on Sunday.

Australian national Andrew Smith was charged with culpable and reckless conduct when he appeared at the city’s sheriff court yesterday.

He was arrested earlier in the day after walking into a police station in the capital.

The cone fell from George IV Bridge on to Merchant Street at around 3.40am on Sunday.

Ms Flannery, studying in Edinburgh for the past 18 months, had been on a night out when she was struck.

She was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but later moved to a specialist spinal injuries unit at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.

Smith was remanded in custody and will be released on bail as soon as his passport has been surrendered to the court.

Meanwhile, Ms Flannery’s condition remained “stable” last night in a spinal injuries unit at a Glasgow hospital.

However, it is feared that she may have serious long-term injuries.

The young woman, who worked as a volunteer in Sri Lanka after graduating in psychology from NUIG two years ago, is an occupational therapy student at Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh.

The eldest in a family-of-three to John and Dorinda Flannery from Beech Court in Salthill, she has two sisters, Gráinne and Brenda.

Her family have travelled to Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital.

“People are shocked by what has happened. She is a lovely young woman who headed off to help people in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago,” said a neighbour.

“They are a lovely, hard-working family who have always been on hand to help people.

“It is terrible that something like this can happen. All our prayers are with Kate and her family,” she added.

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