Donegal man denies liability for crash on medical grounds

An 81 year old Donegal man has claimed he is not liable for a fatal car accident because a medical ailment caused him to lose control of his vehicle. Liability proceedings have been brought against William Barr on behalf of a child injured in a collision in which Mr Barr's wife Maggie died.

Mr Barr claims that if he is found liable, he should be indemnified by his local GP, Dr Anthony Delap of Bunbeg, Co Donegal, a claim rejected by counsel for Dr Delap.

The action against Mr Barr, of Middletown, Gweedore has been brought by Ronan Mc Garvey of Lower Dore, Bunbeg, on behalf of his now seven year old daughter Noirin, who was left her in a wheelchair as a result of the crash at Dunlewy on May 27, 2008.

It was claimed in the High Court that the car driven by Mr Barr crossed on to the wrong side of the road, resulting in a collision with the McGarveys' car. It is also claimed Mr Barr drove in a manner that caused the accident, and that he drove too fast.

Mr Barr denies negligence or liability and claims he experienced a medical ailment immediately prior to the collision, causing him to lose control of his car. He was on medication at the time to deal with complaints of high blood pressure, light headedness and episodes of lost consciousness.

Senior counsel for Mr Barr told the court if there was any finding of liability against his client, then Mr Barr was entitled to an indemnity or a contribution from Dr Delap, an argument rejected by Dr Delap's legal team.

Coubnsel for Noirin Mc garvey Richard T Keane argued that Mr Barr was not entitled to maintain the defence outlined.

The case before Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill is expected to run for two weeks.