More West Cork people making personal injury claims via the courts

Posted on: 20th October, 2017

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

People in West Cork are among those making more personal injuries claims to the courts instead of the State body responsible for dealing with them, some in the hope of getting higher compensation awards, new official figures reveal.

Altogether, nearly 22,000 personal injury cases were filed with courts around the country in 2016, from District Court level up to the High Court. This represented a 15% increase on the amount lodged with the courts the previous year.

Personal injury was the largest type of case handled by the courts during 2016, followed by just over 15,000 applications to the District Court for domestic violence (a rise of 6% on 2015), almost 10,000 child care cases (down 2% on the previous 12 months) and slightly more than 4,000 divorce suits (a decrease of 3% compared to 2015).

With personal injury cases, however, it may all be about to change. By law, anyone bringing a case of personal injury must do so via the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, which is either commonly known as the Injuries Board or just the PIAB. This has been the case since its establishment in 2004, but some people have been refusing to cooperate with the Injuries Board process and try to take their claim to court instead.

The Injuries Board was designed to handle personal injury cases in a swift, efficient and cost-effective manner. This, it was hoped, would prevent the courts from becoming clogged with such cases, which typically include injuries arising from road accidents; incidents at work; and slips, trips and falls in public places such as shops.

Last year, the body reported a slight rise in the number of personal injury claims it handled, with Cork and Dublin among the places where the highest awards were made. In total, 34,056 claims were made via the Injuries Board in 2016 — an increase of 1.5% compared to 2015 — and the biggest payout was worth €740,968, while the average award was for €24,305.

The government has grown concerned about the increasing number of personal injury cases coming before the courts, as an effect is that it pushes up insurance premiums and ultimately the public suffers. Now it is bringing in revised legislation for the Injuries Board that will strengthen its powers.

For people in West Cork and elsewhere around the country, it means they will be compelled to cooperate with the Injuries Board when submitting a personal injury application. A claimant can do this online, or have a personal injury solicitor do it for them. The claimant must then provide all relevant documentation to support their claim, including medical and other reports.

They must also attend any medical examinations organised by the Injuries Board, so a clear and accurate picture of the extent of an injury can be gained. If, however, the claim is rejected or an award is made but is too low and not acceptable to the claimant, they may then take their case to court.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald said the incoming changes would help to protect the public by driving down insurance costs.

“This is another important step in our efforts to address the increasing cost of insurance. The cost of settling personal injury claims is recognised as being a major factor in contributing to those costs,” she said.

“The objective of this Bill is to further strengthen the low-cost claims settlement model which the Personal Injuries Assessment Board provides. By encouraging more claims to be settled at an earlier stage, we can take many costs out of the settlement process. These savings should ultimately benefit the consumer through lower insurance costs.”

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.
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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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