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A boy who hurt his chest when his bicycle allegedly hit an open manhole has settled his High Court action for €11,500. 
James Delaney, who was aged six at the time of the incident, was riding his bicycle at a halting site in Galway city when the front wheel allegedly hit an uncovered manhole. 
His counsel Collette Hannon BL, instructed by Kieran O’Brien solicitor, told the court it was “fairly dark” on February 19th, 2018 when the accident happened. There were serious issues regarding liability in the case and Galway City Council had filed a full defence, she said. 
James, now aged nine, of Carrowbrowne Halting Site, Headford Road, had through his father James Delaney sued the council over the accident. 
The boy suffered a chest wall injury and, for about nine weeks afterwards, was complaining of pain almost daily and had difficulty breathing, his father said in an affidavit. 
It is claimed the front wheel of the bike hit a large crevice which was the uncovered manhole of a fire hydrant on the footpath, and the child fell from the bike. 
It was claimed there was failure to maintain a safe and suitable halting site and to ensure the roadways and footpaths were such that the site occupants, particularly the boy, were safe. 
It was further alleged there was failure to properly maintain the manhole cover and fire hydrant and failure to highlight or cordon off the particular hazard until such time as the appropriate repair works could be carried out. 
The claims were denied and the council contended, if the manhole cover was missing as alleged, its removal probably occurred by the alleged unlawful acts of unknown third parties. 
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Garrett Simons said the offer was better than would be likely achieved if the action went to trial. 
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