A six-year old autistic child who was allegedly assaulted by his school headmaster has been awarded €30,000 damages against his school.
Barrister John Nolan, for the boy who is not being named for confidentiality reasons, said the school in Little Pace, Hansfield, Navan Road, Dublin 15, was consenting to the “without prejudice” award.
Mr Nolan said the case was a very sensitive one and the parents of the boy sought a certain amount of confidentiality with regard to the hearing.
Judge Mary O’Malley Costello, after having read the pleadings and medical reports, said she did not see the need for confidentiality but if that was what the parents wished so be it. She said it was a serious matter.
The boy, through his mother, sued the school for assault and battery and psychological trauma.
It was alleged the school principal Fergal Collins in September 2013 had taken the boy by the hand and “dragged him away from his mother along the ground” and placed him in a line entering a classroom.
In a full defence the school did not admit there had been wrongdoing on the part of Mr Collins or that he had wrongfully and intentionally subjected the boy to an assault and battery, psychological trauma and trespass.
The school also denied that Mr Collins dragged the boy away from his mother along the ground, that Mr Collins aggressively placed the boy at the end of the line.
However, it consented to the Circuit Civil Court awarding the child agreed damages and costs.
It also denied that Mr Collins had pushed him into the classroom, that there was negligence, breach of duty and breach of statutory duty on the part of the school or Mr Collins and all particulars of negligence, personal injury and special damage recited against it in the pleadings.
The defence stated that on the day in question Mr Collins had acted in a reasonable manner.
The boy and his mother had alleged in the €60,000 damages claim against the school that the school principal had taken the boy’s hand from his mother at a time when he was nervous and hiding behind her.
It was alleged the boy had become hysterical and that afterwards the boy’s parents had decided not to bring him back to the school.
They had difficulty in finding emergency school placement for their son.
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