Man sues claiming he slipped on snow and ice at Garda HQ during 'Beast from the East'

A computer analyst at Garda HQ who claims he hurt his shoulder after allegedly slipping on snow and ice on a path at the Phoenix Park HQ
Man sues claiming he slipped on snow and ice at Garda HQ during 'Beast from the East'

High court reporters

A computer analyst at Garda HQ who claims he hurt his shoulder after allegedly slipping on snow and ice on a path at the Phoenix Park HQ has sued in the High Court.

Coleman Connolly went to work early at the Garda Headquarters as the “Beast from the East” hit Ireland covering the country in ice and snow four years ago.

"I had to walk gingerly. I took my time. There was a lot of snow and ice underfoot. I was walking very, very slow. I slipped pure and simple. I put my left arm out as I landed. I took the full force of the fall on my shoulder," he said.

He told Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds . “I got up. I was crying with pain it was so severe.”

Mr Connolly under cross-examination agreed he was wearing black slip-on formal type shoes with a smooth leather sole at the time.

Coleman Connolly (62), who has since retired and is from College Rise, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath has sued his former employer Accenture Ltd with offices at Grand Canal Square, Grand Canal Harbour, Dublin along with the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice , Equality and Law Reform as a result of the fall on February 28th, 2018.

Safe access

It is claimed after making his way through the main gate at Garda HQ, when he was on his way to the building where he worked, he slipped on what he claimed was compacted ice and snow on the pathway.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to have regard to the fact that poor weather conditions had been forecast and to take appropriate steps to ensure that visitors to the premises could gain access in safety.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to provide a safe access to and egress from the premises and an alleged failure to warn Mr Connolly of the alleged danger.

All the claims were denied, and it was contended there was alleged contributory negligence on the part of Mr Connolly who it was claimed failed to keep any proper lookout and allegedly failed to exercise any or any reasonable care for his own safety.

Acute tendon tear

Opening the case Sara Phelan SC instructed by Anjana Hanratty solicitor told the court Mr Connolly had an MRI later which showed he had suffered an acute tendon tear and he had to have surgery on the shoulder and wear a sling for four weeks.

In his evidence Mr Connolly said he had overseen a systems update on February 27 and drove in from home the next morning to check it had updated successfully.

“I felt I really needed to get in on site,” he said. He said after the fall he dusted himself off and went to work and visited a doctor a few days later. He said since the fall he has not had “a complete night’s sleep because of pain in my shoulder.”

Gerard M Clarke SC for the State parties put it to Mr Connolly that workmen had started to salt the outer part of the HQ grounds at 7am but had not got to the inner part of the Garda HQ. Mr Connolly said he had not seen them.

The case before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds continues on Friday.

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