Owners of husky-type dog that attacked boy during hurling training must pay €95,000 compensation

A boy who was attacked by a husky-type dog as he played hurling on a GAA pitch has settled his High Court action for €95,000.

Aaron Heavey-Sharpe suffered multiple lacerations to his lower legs and has been left with permanent and significant scarring after the attack by the Alaskan Malamute dog, Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told.

The boy’s counsel Gabriel Gavigan SC, instructed by Feargal White solicitor, told the court Aaron was on the pitch when the dog ran onto the grass and attacked and bit him savagely.

Aaron (16) of Derreens, Carragh, Co Kildare, had, through his father Niall Sharpe, sued the dog owners Joseph and Edwina Murphy of Donore, Naas, Co Kildare, over the attack on the Éire Óg Corra Choill hurling club sports pitch at Donore on January 27, 2019.

Aaron was 12 at the time and was hurling training when it was claimed the dog attacked him and bit him several times on his lower limbs.

It was claimed that the dog had escaped from the Murphy premises and entered the GAA pitch.

It was further claimed there was a failure to adequately control or restrain the dog and a failure to take any or any reasonable care to see that the boy or any other person would be reasonably safe near their premises or on the pitch.

The court heard that liability was admitted in the case.

Aaron, following the attack, was taken to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, where he had to have surgery under general anaesthetic to repair his legs.

He had seven puncture wounds on his inner left thigh as well as large wounds and other lacerations on his right leg. He was in hospital for two days and had to use crutches for a time afterwards.

It was claimed the boy was traumatised by the attack.

Counsel told the court the boy had a fear of dogs for a while after the attack, but his family got a dog to help him overcome the fear.

Counsel said he also had difficulty running but he had since overcome that and hopes to get back to playing Gaelic games in the future.

Mr Justice Coffey, who inspected the scarring, said it was quite significant.

However, he said Aaron was a very resilient young man.

The judge was satisfied the settlement offer was fair and reasonable and he had no hesitation in approving it.

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