Student awarded €15k after being hit by bouncer
A 28-year-old student who will be scarred for life after being viciously attacked by a nightclub bouncer has been awarded €15k damages.
Elaine Bennett told the Circuit Civil Court that she had been celebrating New Year 2014 when she and her friends decided to go to Krystle Nightclub in Dublin's Harcourt Street.
She said her friends had gone inside while she stayed outside for a smoke.
When she had wanted to get in, she was refused entry because, according to bouncers, she was "too drunk".
She had drunk seven glasses of wine that day.
Ms Bennett, who is from Cork, said she left the area but came back half-an-hour later as her friends were inside and she was alone on the street. She was refused entry a second time.
She told the court that when she asked again if she could be let in, a female bouncer suddenly attacked her, pulling her to the ground by her hair.
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that Ms Bennett was punched and kicked on her body and face before another security guard separated them.
Ms Bennett told her barrister Mr Mark O'Connell that she had been helped up by people on the street before gardai had arrived on the scene.
She had gone to her GP a few days later, complaining of bruising on her face and body. Her wounds had left a permanent scar under her right eye.
Ms Bennett, of Glenary, Glencoo Park, Boreenmana Road, Cork, sued Triglen Holdings Ltd, which trades as Krystle Nightclub, and P&B Security Services Ltd (now in liquidation), with a registered address at Newhall, Naas, Co Kildare.
The defendants had denied liability and claimed that Ms Bennett had been extremely and racially abusive towards the security staff.
They said she had pushed female bouncer Dawn Cleary down the entrance stairs, calling her a "bitch" and a "Polish lesbian". She had called another bouncer a "Polish b******."
Judge Groarke said that although it was his view that the bouncers had an obligation to refuse Ms Bennett entry because she was intoxicated, he was satisfied she had been viciously assaulted.
He said he could not believe a word that Ms Cleary had said in the witness box.
She had also refused to co-operate with gardai who investigated the incident and, in the judge's view, she should not be licensed to work in security.
The judge awarded Ms Bennett €15,000 damages and adjourned the case to a date this month to determine which of the two defendants was liable to pay.