A woman who fell into an open grave as she sympathised with the chief mourner at a funeral has settled a High Court action for damages.
Margaret Walsh from Kerry was attending the funeral of a first cousin in Dublin when she fell into the grave and allegedly hurt her back, arm, hip and neck.
She claimed when she toppled into the grave, earth started coming in on top of her and she suffered a tremendous shock.
The 77-year-old woman had claimed she was injured in the fall at the funeral nine years ago when suddenly and without warning she was allegedly caused to fall into the grave.
She later had to spend ten days in hospital and a hospital consultant noted she sustained multiple soft tissue injuries in a very unusual accident from which it was claimed she was quite traumatised.
Ms Walsh was attending a funeral at Balgriffin Graveyard, Malahide, Dublin when the accident happened on September 3, 2011.
When the proceedings came before Mr Justice Michael Hanna, the judge was told the case could be struck out against all parties with costs against all the defendants except Fingal County Council which is not liable for any costs. The details of the settlement are confidential.
Margaret Walsh, Connolly Park, Tralee, Co Kerry had sued undertakers, Allied Funeral Services trading as Stafford and Jennings North Strand Road, Dublin and Allied Funeral Services Ireland Ltd of the same address; Fingal County Council as well as gravediggers Paul Tierney and Martin Molloy trading as Tierney Molloy of Kileek St Margarets, Co Dublin as a result of the accident nine years ago.
Ms Walsh had claimed she was allowed to walk near the open grave when they ought to have known it was unsafe and dangerous for her to do so and there was an alleged failure to warn her of the dangers.
It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to provide a secure foothold and there was an alleged failure to properly guard or fence the open grave.
Ms Walsh also alleged the grave area was allegedly caused to become unsafe and dangerous in that it had allegedly not been properly guarded which she claimed constituted a danger to her. She also claimed the open grave allegedly created a trap for her.
There was also, it was claimed an alleged failure to institute an adequate system of inspection and maintenance of the open grave whereby the alleged defect in the excavation guarding of the grave might have been detected and remedied
The claims were denied.
Ms Walsh did not suffer a bone injury but claimed she was sore around the thoracic region and lower back and was stiff and restricted in the left shoulder after the accident.
Her cheeks were also sore and she had been struck in the face by her handbag as she fell. It was claimed that Ms Walsh was extremely emotionally upset and embarrassed by the incident.
She claimed she was restricted in her ordinary everyday activities after the accident and her ability to work had also been impacted.
By Ann O’Loughlin, Irish Examiner