Doctor cleared of blame in penioners fatal car crash near Dunlewey

The driver of a car that crashed resulting in the death of his wife and in the serious injury of a young girl has lost his claim of indemnity against his GP.

81-year-old William Barr, of Middletown, Gweedore, had claimed his GP Dr Anthony Delap was negligent in certifying him fit to drive two years before he was involved in the fatal car crash.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill ruled there had been no negligence or breach of duty on the part of the doctor.

Mr Barr was the driver of a car which crossed from its side of the road and crashed into an oncoming vehicle outside the village of Dunlewey on May 27, 2008.

Mr Barr's wife, Maggie was killed in the crash, and the backseat passenger in the other car, Noirin McGarvey, who was four at the time, suffered serious spinal injuries and is now confined to a wheelchair.

Noirin, now aged seven, brought proceedings through her father Ronan McGarvey, Lower Dore, Bunbeg, Co Donegal, against Mr Barr.

Earlier this year, the High Court approved a €4m settlement in favour of the young girl.

Mr Barr had denied liability for the accident and claimed an indemnity against his GP, Dr Anthony Delap, on grounds that he suffered a medical ailment immediately prior to the collision that caused him to lose control of his car.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill rejected Mr Barr's claim.

He said the reality was that at the time of the crash Mr Barr was still a robust 77-year-old and was still fully active.

In addition, he found that Mr Barr "was a fully competent, mature adult and was himself primarily responsible for ensuring that he himself could drive safely".