Teenage supervisor of paintball game denies telling man to take off mask

James Curley said it would be “throwing my job away” and would be too dangerous to tell people to take off their protective masks when playing a paintball game
Teenage supervisor of paintball game denies telling man to take off mask

The supervisor of a paintball game where a man shot himself in the eye has told the High Court he did not direct people playing the game to take off their masks to clean them.

James Curley said it would be “throwing my job away” and would be too dangerous to tell people to take off their protective masks when playing a paintball game.

Mr Curley was 16 years of age when he supervised the paintball game where 21-year-old Daniel Nolan shot himself in the eye.

In court today, Mr Curley also denied a cover-up allegation where it is claimed by Mr Nolan’s side that the supervisor asked the injured man to say he was wearing the mask at the time of the accident and the paintball bullet had slipped underneath.

It was the second day of the action by Mr Nolan who the court has heard lost the central vision in his left eye after the incident three years ago. He has sued the paintball operators claiming Mr Curley instructed him to remove his protective goggles to clean them because they were fogging up.

In court today, Mr Curley said they were five or 10 minutes into the game when he said he saw Mr Nolan lift off his mask.

'Put your mask on'

‘I shouted game over, game over. He had his mask in his left hand. I was shouting put your mask on. He dropped the gun and went to pick it up and shot himself in the eye,” he told Ms Justice Miriam O’Regan.

He said afterwards Mr Nolan was stooped over, and he helped him out of the area and put the mask back on his face as he walked him in.

Mr Curley denied he had asked Mr Nolan to say he had his mask on and the bullet went under the mask.

Mr Nolan, Rafters Road, Drimnagh, Dublin has sued Special Ops Paintball Ltd, Kilcroney Lane, Bray Co Wicklow as a result of the accident on April 29th, 2018 at its Roundwood, Co Wicklow premises.

Mr Nolan says he was attending a paintball session with work colleagues in Roundwood when, it is claimed, he sustained a significant eye injury.

He has claimed the protective eyewear allegedly constantly fogged up, preventing him being able to see and there was alleged failure to take the paintball gun from him when the instructor allegedly directed him to remove his goggles and wipe them.

The claims are denied, and it is contended by the paintball company that Mr Nolan signed a disclaimer undertaking to wear his protective eyewear at all times in the play area.

Safety instructions

It is further contended Mr Nolan allegedly removed his protective eyewear in contravention of the extensive and repeated safety instructions given to him and he was the author of his own misfortune.

Counsel for Mr Nolan , Richard Kean SC told Mr Curley they were not blaming him for the accident as he was 16 years of age at the time. Counsel put it to the witness that he had told Mr Nolan to take his mask off. Mr Curley replied: “I didn’t.”

Mr Curley said he “was shook” after the incident but he said he did not have a conversation with Mr Nolan about masks.

Earlier the paintball company owner Michael O’Toole told the court the safety briefing before the paintball game lasted about ten minutes and players were also told they can’t take off masks before they entered the play zone. He said players also test fired the guns before going out to the play zone.

"If you take your mask off and shoot yourself in the face, I can’t stop that," he told Ms Justice O’Regan.

The case continues remotely on Friday.

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