Paralympic athlete tells court she’s determined to get to Rio

first_imgNewsParalympic athlete tells court she’s determined to get to RioBy Staff Reporter – April 22, 2015 790 Print RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR by Andrew [email protected] up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up AN IRISH paralympic horsewoman says she is determined to make the Rio 2016 games after injuries sustained in a County Limerick car crash forced her to miss the London 2012 Paralympic games.Breda Bernie is 40-year-old Cerebral Palsy sufferer, but could ride a horse at the age of five even before she could take her first steps unassisted.At a sitting of the High Court in Limerick this week, she gave evidence of how she was driving back to Limerick city from dressage training session at a Crecora equestrian arena when her car was written off after a collision with a John Deere tractor and trailer on a narrow road in February 2011.She was at the height of her training with the elite high performance Para Equestrian Ireland squad to reach the Olympic qualifying standards at international dressage events for the London 2012 games when the accident occurred.Ms Bernie, who has represented Ireland at both European and World Championships, described how she had left the stables in Crecora and was returning to Limerick city where she was staying at around 7:45pm on February 25, 2011.Noticing the lights of a vehicle coming towards her, the two time paralympian said she slowed and pulled in as close to the ditch as possible.“Only when the lights came closer did I realise that over half of their vehicle was on my side of the road before it attempted to turn back to its own side.”Ms Bernie described how the subsequent impact with the tractor forced the rear of her car off the road and into the ditch causing over €15,000 worth of damage. The car was written off and she said this left her in shock and with extensive injuries to her neck, back and arm.Ms Bernie said that “there was little or no dialogue” between herself and the tractor driver after he initially asked if she was alright. He also refused to allow her use his phone to contact Gardaí as her own phone was in the boot of her car and couldn’t be accessed.Ms Bernie was initially treated and later referred to her GP. She was subsequently treated by pain and orthopaedic specialists.She missed the first qualifier for London 2012 two months after the accident and her scores at subsequent events failed to improve. despite having ranked at the Irish Paralympic standard before the crash.She was told that she had not been selected shortly before the last qualifier in Germany a number of months later. She continues to have pain despite having regular pain relief injections and is much slower doing things at home.Although still suffering from her injuries, she has since returned to horse riding and told Mr Justice Michael Moriarty that she is “hoping to get to the next Olympics”.“Through determination, I will get to Rio de Janeiro “, she said.In cross examination, Ms Bernie accepted that she had suffered other injuries as a result of a number of falls from her horse at competitions or while hacking, but denied that she had returned to her baseline health status within a few weeks of the accident.Following a brief adjournment on the second day of hearing, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty was told that the case had been settled and costs were awarded to Ms Bernie. Previous articleDirector Liddy returns for Film FestivalNext articlePigtown Fling documentary screening Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie TAGSfeatured Walk in Covid testing available in Limerick from Saturday 10th April Shannondoc operating but only by appointment No vaccines in Limerick yet Advertisementcenter_img Facebook Twitter First Irish death from Coronavirus Linkedin Email Surgeries and clinic cancellations extended WhatsApp Proceedures and appointments cancelled again at UHLlast_img

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