An ESB worker who was attacked by a large stag and tossed through the air as he climbed a Tipperary mountain has sued in the High Court.
John Corcoran was an engineering officer with the ESB and was on his way to check on a mast when the stag attacked him on a forestry path at Kilduff Mountain outside Templemore, Co Tipperary.
The attack took place in September 2016 during what is traditionally rutting season.
“It was a really lovely summer’s day when a herd of deer crossed the path in front of me. I said wouldn’t it be a lovely picture and then I got a sense of fear. The hairs on my neck were standing. I looked behind me and there was a stag 15 paces back from me,” he told Mr Justice Paul Coffey.
He said he started to run but the stag hit him with force, his antlers creating eight puncture wounds on Mr Corcoran’s rucksack and wounding him in the shoulder.
“He propelled me through the air at speed over a bank and into the scrub. I lost my helmet and glasses,” the 63-year-old said.
The stag continued to attack with feet and antlers but Mr Corcoran said he had a rod and managed to hit the stag a few times in the nostrils, but it reared up on his hind legs and came crashing down on him.
Mr Corcoran said he lost consciousness for an estimated 10 to 12 minutes but later managed to reach his phone and summons help.
At the opening of his case against the ESB, Mr Corcoran’s counsel Edward Walsh SC instructed by Sean Fitzgerald solicitor of HOMS Assist told the court Mr Corcoran was left with lifelong deficits and his “middle and golden years are blighted”.
Loss of earnings
Counsel said the accident led to the destruction of Mr Corcoran’s career and his claim for loss of earnings amounted to a total of €420,000.
“He is a shell of himself. He has changed utterly,” Counsel said. He said Mr Corcoran’s wife will say there has been a “sea change “ in her husband since the attack, that he has gone from an active man to somebody who struggles on a day-to-day basis.
Mr Corcoran had returned to work in February 2017 but retired on medical advice in November 2017 after 38 years working with the ESB.