Keane v Electricity Supply Board

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
Judgment Date01 January 1981
Date01 January 1981
Docket Number[1977 No. 2751 P]
(S.C.)
Keane
and
Electricity Supply Board

Child - Electricity sub-station - Allurement - Rural location - Trespasser injured - Whether reasonable precautions taken by occupier to avert injury.

The defendants were the occupiers of an electricity sub-station in a rural area. The sub-station, containing a transformer, had been built in 1961 and was situated in a field that was not usually frequented by children. The sub-station was surrounded by a chain-link wire fence which was 5'9" high and above it were three strands of barbed wire which raised the height of the fence to 6'9". The sides of the squares formed by the wire mesh were 21/2inches long and the distance between the corners of the squares was 3 inches. In 1965 when the plaintiff was eleven-years-old he and a companion, as trespassers, entered the field to look for bulrushes and, finding none, they climbed over the wire fence of the sub-station. The plaintiff then climbed on to the transformer where he clutched at a high-voltage uninsulated conductor with one hand and was injured severely. The plaintiff's companion climbed the fence again and went to get assistance and then the plaintiff, alone and injured, also climbed over the fence again. The plaintiff brought an action in the High Court and claimed damages from the defendants for their alleged negligence. The evidence at the trial in 1979 established that the defendants had 180 similar fences at rural sub-stations in the State; that the sub-station had been supervised and maintained adequately since it had been built; that there had been no other known trespass there, that there had been no other such accident at any of the other rural sub-stations; that similar fences were used by electricity authorities in England, Wales and elsewhere; and that it...

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1 cases
  • Ward v McMaster and Others
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 10 Mayo 1988
    ...69. Dorset Yacht Co. Ltd. v. Home Office [1970] A.C. 1004; [1970] 2 W.L.R. 1140; [1970] 2 All E.R. 294. Keane v. Electricity Supply Board [1981] I.R. 44. Jones v. Stroud [1988] 1 All E.R. 5. Roche v. Peilow [1985] I.R. 232; [1986] I.L.R.M. 177. Bradley v. Coras Iompair Éireann [1976] I.R. 2......

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