Woman who sued for injury after changing nappy on toilet floor in Croke Park drops case

Therese O’Boyle withdrew her case and agreed to make a contribution towards the legal costs of Croke Park

GAA headquarters at Croke Park

Ray Managh

A woman, who claimed she hurt her back because she had to change her baby’s nappy “on paper napkins on a dirty toilet floor “ due to the absence of baby changing facilities, has withdrawn her personal injuries claim against Pairc Na Crocaigh.

Judge James McCourt was told in the Circuit Civil Court today that Therese O’Boyle, of Churchfield Way, Ashbourne, Co Meath, was not only abandoning her case but agreed to make a contribution towards the legal costs of Croke Park which had appealed a €15,000 District Court award in her favour.

When the court was told O’Boyle had wrenched her back and neck while lifting her two-and-a-half year old daughter off the floor, Judge McCourt asked her legal team where was the alleged negligence on the part of Croke Park.

Counsel for the Student Administrator in DIT said when she went looking at half time in a Dublin – Roscommon match for a baby changing facility, the sign for the one closest to the section of the lower Hogan Stand in which she had been seated had been obscured by a queue for the toilet and she had spent 20 minutes looking around for one.

Barrister Shane English, counsel for Croke Park, said there was not only one but a number of other baby changing facilities available in the stands and told the court there was no legal requirement on anyone to provide baby changing facilities anywhere.

Judge McCourt immediately invited the parties to discuss the matter outside court and within minutes was told O’Boyle was withdrawing her claim and would make a contribution towards Croke Park’s legal costs.

O’Boyle had told the lower court that while attending the August 2018 match she had asked two staff members about baby changing facilities and they had told her they did not know where they were. Another had told her she did not think there were any such facilities in the arena.

Evenutally she had been forced to lay her baby down on paper napkins on a dirty toilet floor to change her nappy and had wrenched her back and neck when lifting the child off the floor.

The District Court judge, after having heard Ms O’Boyle’s evidence had ruled there had been negligence on the part of Croke Park and, after studying medical reports, awarded her €15,000, which is the full jurisdiction of the District Court, and costs.

Mr English, who appeared with Donnough Shaffrey of Shaffrey Solicitors for Croke Park, stated in a full defence that any incident at stadium on the day of the match had been due to the acts of Ms O’Boyle and not by any negligent act or wrongdoing on the part of Croke Park.

Ms O’Boyle had disclosed in her proceedings that she had not had any previous injury claims but in 2016 had brought a civil suit against Paddy Power Limited for unsolicited e-mails, a case that had been settled out of court.

Following today’s withdrawal and costs contribution by O’Boyle a spokesperson for Croke Park and its insurers, Alliance, stated there were 13 baby changing facilities within the stadium in both female and male rest rooms.

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