Limerick Circuit Court was told by one of the 12 firefighters at the scene and a garda they could not find any sign of impact damage to either vehicle.
A passenger in the car, which was rear-ended, said he was out looking at horses in fields and the driver of the car which hit them was also said to be in the horse dealing business.
Judge James O’Donohoe, in awarding damages totalling €53,000, said counsel for the driver of one vehicle which caused the accident, had created a suspicion of fraud, but could not bring that home when introducing a Facebook posting claiming this linked some of the parties.
He told counsel Emmett O’Brien: “You are hinting at something untoward. You can’t have a halfway house on matters of fraud. It’s whole duck or no dinner.”
Judge O’Donohoe said all the defendants were respectable credible witnesses.
He said: “Because of the atmosphere at the moment with so many exaggerated claims of setups, the courts have to be very careful with claims.”
Injury claims were brought against the defendant driver, Edward O’Donoghue, Gort, Co Galway, and his insurers.
The driver of the car rear-ended, Sarah Jane Quilligan, Altamira Terrace, Thomondgate, was awarded €7,500 damages; her passengers Connie Mullane, Temple Grove, Newcastle West, got €5,000; Michael Quilligan, Altamira Crescent, Thomondgate, was awarded €6,000; and Nicola Hartigan, Belfield Crescent, Farranshone, was awarded €15,000.
Daniel O’Donovan, Crowe St, Gort, a front seat passenger in Edward O’Donoghue’s vehicle, was awarded €20,000 damages.