Roscrea man settles case for injuries caused at soap-box derby

A man knocked down by a soap box kart in North Tipperary has settled his High Court case for €1.55 million.

Retired Army private Donal Walsh was a steward at the Roscrea Soapbox Race in the town six years ago when the incident happened causing him to suffer a brain injury.

64 year old Donal Walsh from Roscrea had sued the organisers of the Soap Box Race – Shane Lee and Eoghan Fogarty also of Roscrea – and Country Sports Ireland with an address in Coleraine, Northern Ireland as a result of the accident on September 11th 2016.

Mr. Walsh suffered a brain injury after he was walking back up the hill where the racing had taken place when a kart knocked him to the ground.

His counsel Patrick Treacy SC told the High Court the racing had finished when it “was decided to have one more run.”

Counsel said Mr Walsh, who has compromised eyesight, saw two karts pass him on Convent Hill but a wheel came off a kart which “suddenly and dramatically crashed in to him and knocked him violently to the ground where he sustained a significant blow to the head.”

He lost consciousness and was transferred to hospital where it was discovered he had suffered a moderate to severe brain injury and has no recollection of the accident.

It was claimed Mr Walsh had been permitted to carry out his duties as a steward without receiving necessary safety training and there was an alleged failure to ensure appropriate safety precautions were in place.

It was claimed there was a failure to ensure the soapbox karts participating were being driven in a manner which had due regard to spectators and stewards as well as an alleged failure to ensure the soap box karts in the race were mechanically functional and properly maintained.

The claims were denied, and it was claimed there was contributory negligence on behalf of Mr Walsh.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Michael Hanna said it was an excellent settlement and wished Mr Walsh and his family well.