A young mother who was catastrophically injured when the car driven by her husband ploughed into a tractor on a Cork road has launched a High Court action.
Olivia Redmond-O’Callaghan was only 28 years of age and left with massive brain damage and needing 24-hour care for the rest of her life after the accident on the old Cork to Glanmire Road in 2011.
Her counsel Dr John O’Mahony SC today told the High Court the mother of two who was pregnant with her third child at the time of the accident when she suffered massive brain damage which has “rendered her totally incapacitated”.
“Everything that could be done to her skull was done,” he said.
She has been left in an appalling sad state where she does not recognise her children and has been in institutional care since the accident on October 4, 2011.
He told Mr Justice Tony O’Connor, Mrs O’Callaghan was 12 weeks pregnant at the time of the accident and gave birth to a healthy baby boy – Daniel in March 2012 but she has never realised she has a son and does not recognise her children, Daniel and his sisters who are aged 13 and 14.
"When she is shown a photograph of her husband Myles O’Callaghan who died in the accident she does not recognise him,” Dr O’Mahony said.
Olivia Redmond-O’Callaghan who is now aged 37 from, Gowlane South, Donoughmore, Co. Cork, has sued her late husband’s estate, the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland and Cork County Council over the accident.
She has taken the action through her stepfather Liam Power.
Against Cork County Council it is claimed it constructed a public roadway which was allegedly defective and dangerous to road users.
The road, it was claimed, was constructed with a very tight bend with a radius of curvature which was allegedly below the minimum acceptable standard. High vegetation, it was further alleged, was permitted to grow on the embankment of the road which allegedly restricted forward visibility.
There was, it was claimed, an alleged failure to warn Mr O’Callaghan of the dangerous or sharp left-hand bend. There was also, it is alleged, a failure to erect any or any proper warning signs, including rumble strips.
Cork County Council has denied all the claims and contends the bend is visible for 210 metres and there is a camber on the bed that it says benefits drivers negotiating it.
The accident, Cork County Council claims, was caused by the alleged negligence of Mr O’Callaghan about the driving, speed, care, management and control of the car in which his wife was a passenger.
The MIBI in its defence has claimed Mrs Redmond-O’Callaghan allegedly failed to have any regard for her own safety and permitted herself to be carried in a car for which she allegedly knew there was no valid insurance policy in place.
The case continues.