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Loss of vision Man shot himself in eye with paintball gun after he was told to take goggles off, court hears

Daniel Nolan claims a teenage supervisor instructed him to remove his protective goggles to clean them because they were fogging up

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Daniel Nolan (25) of Rafters Road, Drimnagh, Dublin. Photo: Collins Courts

Daniel Nolan (25) of Rafters Road, Drimnagh, Dublin. Photo: Collins Courts

Daniel Nolan (25) of Rafters Road, Drimnagh, Dublin. Photo: Collins Courts

A man shot himself in the eye with a paintball gun after he was allegedly instructed to take off protective goggles which were fogging up, the High Court has heard.

Daniel Nolan (25) claims a teenage supervisor of the paintball game instructed him to remove his protective goggles to clean them because they were fogging up.

He told the court after the accident he was left holding his eye and was afraid to take his hand away in case his eye dropped out.

“I thought my eye was gone, that it would fall out if I took away my hand,” he said.

Mr Nolan, Rafters Road, Drimnagh, Dublin, lost the central vision in his left eye, the court heard.

“I wiped my goggles and picked up the gun. It fired into my face.

"I shot myself in the eyes. I don’t know how the gun went off,” he said.

Opening his case Richard Kean SC, instructed by David Harrington solicitor, said there was a huge conflict of fact in the case.

The judge will have to “look in eyes” to determine where the truth lies, he said.

Mr Nolan has sued Special Ops Paintball Ltd, Kilcroney Lane, Bray, Co Wicklow, as a result of the accident on April 29, 2018 at its Roundwood, Co Wicklow premises.

Mr Nolan says he was attending the paintball session with work colleagues, when it is claimed, he sustained a significant eye injury.

His counsel said it was their case that Mr Nolan was told by a 16-year-old supervisor to remove his mask to clean his goggles.

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It was also their case the supervisor allegedly told him not to say he was told to take off the mask, he said.

The court was told that the allegation is vehemently denied.

In his claim, Mr Nolan says the protective eyewear allegedly constantly fogged up, preventing him being able to see.

There was an alleged failure to take the paintball gun from him when the instructor allegedly directed him to remove his goggles and wipe them.

The claims are denied and it is contended by the paintball company that Mr Nolan signed a disclaimer undertaking to wear his protective eyewear at all times in the play area.

It is further contended Mr Nolan allegedly removed his protective eyewear in contravention of the extensive and repeated safety instructions given to him and that he was the author of his own misfortune.

Mr Nolan told the court that they were just five minutes into the game when he said his goggles were fogging up and he was finding it hard to see.

He said the game was stopped and he and his team were brought to a hut where he claimed he was directed to remove the goggles to clean them.

After the accident he said the supervisor allegedly suggested to him to say he had the mask on the whole time and the bullet slipped under it.

Cross-examined by Patricia Dillon SC, for the paintball company, Mr Nolan said he had one shot of vodka about one and a half hours before the paintball game.

He accepted that had he taken a minute or two to put on his protective gear after wiping the goggles, the accident would not have happened.

The case before Ms Justice Miriam O’Regan continues.

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