Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Farmer thought he was a dead man during ‘Furious Bull Fight’ in Marto

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A 73-year-old West Clare farmer credits his fitness and his time in the boxing ring for surviving a “fiery bullfight” at Kilrush Mart seven years ago.

T Ennis Circuit Court, James Vincent Fitzpatrick, told the court that “I was a dead man” but only for being “very fit” and for his time in the boxing ring.

“I don’t think anyone else would have come out of this alive. Only I am the kind of guy who won’t give up – you have to kill me before I die.”

During his personal injury proceedings against Claire Marts Ltd and Claire Co-Operative Marts Ltd, Mr Fitzpatrick breaks into the witness box as he describes the bullfight in the loading area at Kilrush Mart on October 7, 2015, during which he ‘Crushed’. ‘ Injury to his right leg.

Mr. Fitzpatrick, a farmer and rancher from Burren, Kilmer, described how he was bringing an ox, a bull and a cow into his truck when another bull “came like a rocket” from a slope in the mart.

“It was like a flash of lightning when this other bull came from behind – unexpected. The bull roars and it explodes and the bull I was driving turned around and hit me right across.

“It’s a miracle that I’m here today. I was between two bulls – they were big bulls.”

Mr Fitzpatrick’s lawyer, Lorcan Connolly Beale, told the court that one bull weighed 995 kg and the other bull weighed 960 kg.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “Two bulls were banging on either side and only because I had spent time in the boxing ring years ago didn’t scare me – someone else must have fallen under its shock.”

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He recalled his time in the boxing ring when “a handy fellow hit me a belt when I was ready to box … it was the best thing.

“I was very athletic – I keep myself very fit – I dance every weekend – always at that level.”

He also recalled how he was able to climb one gate and how one bull pushed another “and his ass hit my leg”.

“The other bull shook him to the teeth and threw him flying across the ring. There was a fight between two bulls. It was serious stuff.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said he was over the gate for eight or nine minutes.

“It was cruel to the end of the world. It was barbaric. I was trying to hold on to the bar. The agony and the agony. It was intimidating. I was lucky I didn’t have a heart attack nor did I fall over .

Weeping a second time in the witness box, Mr Fitzpatrick said: “I still see a bull being picked up by another bull and hitting the wall next to me.”

Mr Connolly said it was Mr Fitzpatrick’s case that Mart was utterly negligent in releasing the bull as Mr Fitzpatrick loaded three other animals onto his truck.

Mart denied liability but after Mr Fitzpatrick and the other witnesses had completed their evidence, Mr Fitzpatrick made an offer after lunch and Mr Connolly was able to tell Judge Comerford that the matter had been settled and that it was resolved. could be terminated without any orders.

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Mr Fitzpatrick, speaking outside the court, said he was “very happy” that the matter had been resolved.

Mr. Fitzpatrick’s solicitor, Patrick Moylan, said: “Mr. Fitzpatrick is pleased. He feels he has been upheld.

“Mart obviously put him for full proof of his case and he has come here and as far as we are concerned he has proved his case and matters are settled and he is happy with that.”

Off the court Mr Fitzpatrick said: “It was a long journey – my leg still hurts and I still dream of the bulls. The bullfighting was unreal.”

In earlier evidence, Mr. Fitzpatrick said that employees at the mart were able to help him down the railing.

Mr Fitzpatrick said he was in “severe pain all the time” for several days after the bullock incident. He said: “The scars from that day are still on my leg but it’s not as bad as it was.

“My wife Mary would help me bathe it with water and it would be done in cold and hot water for 30 days. I would put a sock on him in bed at night to keep it warm.”

Mart’s lawyer, Emmett O’Brien Beale, put it to Mr Fitzpatrick: “We say the contact was made by a bull with your foot, but it was because of your inability to close the gate in time.”

Mr Fitzpatrick denied this. The Mart employee, Michael Clancy, told the court that Mr Fitzpatrick told him after the incident “My good man, it will take more than that to put me down.”

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