Fore! Donegal man sues Sligo golf club after he was struck by ball

December 11, 2020

A Donegal golf fan who was hit on the head by a golf ball and knocked unconscious has sued for damages in the High Court.

Colm Campbell, from Donegal Town, claims he is in constant pain and his life has totally changed after he was hit on the left side of his forehead during the 2016 West of Ireland Championship for amateur golfers held at County Sligo Golf Club at Rosses Point, Sligo.

He has sued Kevin Le Blanc, who was at the time a top amateur golfer who later turned professional for a number of years; County Sligo Golf Club and the organisers of the competition, The Golfing Union of Ireland.

When opening the case on Thursday, Liam Reidy SC instructed by Damien Tansey solicitor, said their case was that Mr Le Blanc, when in the rough at the 11th green and 12th tee box, hit the ball, it overshot the green and hit Mr Campbell on the head.

Counsel said they contend that was “an errant shot” and, if a shot is errant, there is a fundamental obligation to shout “fore” because somebody could be in its way.

“It is a key standard that applies to every golfer from the elite to the lower level, particularly in the circumstances where the match is being watched by a group of spectators,” Mr Reidy said.

Noel McCarthy SC, for Mr Le Blanc, said his case is that it was not a wayward shot but was rather a competent shot and that is why the golfer did not shout “fore”. Mr Le Blanc will say the shot was a perfectly well struck shot and not a veering one that required him to call “fore”, counsel said.

Mr Campbell (65), a father of three from Donegal town, has sued County Sligo Golf Club, Rosses Point; the event organisers, The Golfing Union of Ireland National Coaching Academy Ltd, with offices at Maynooth, Co Kildare and Mr Le Blanc, Donabate, Co Dublin over the incident on March 28th, 2016.

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