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Galway County Council not liable for majority of pothole damage

In nine out of ten cases where motorists damage wheels and tyres in road potholes, Galway County Council doesn’t have the responsibility of meeting the cost of the repairs bill, last week’s meeting of the local authority was told.

Director of Services, Jim Cullen, in reply to queries from a number of councillors, said that there was no automatic entitlement to compensation in cases where motorists damaged their wheels and tyres on public roads.

“There are certain situations where we are liable but not in the vast majority of claims. Nine out of ten times we don’t have the responsibility,” said Jim Cullen.

Independent councillor, Jim Cuddy, told the meeting that he had come across a number of cases where motorists had burst tyres and damaged wheels due to potholes and subsequently had their compensation claims rejected out of hand.

“When is the Council liable and when is the Council not liable. If the Council is responsible for the condition of the roads, surely, they have to take responsibility for the damage caused to cars,” said Cllr. Cuddy.

He said that these were genuine situations where motorists either had burst tyres or had damaged their wheels due to the condition of the road. Their claims were backed up with photos and receipts, he added.

Cllr. Cuddy also asked if the compensation was being paid out of the Council’s insurance cover. Jim Cullen replied that this was the case if the Council was liable, but pointed out that these payouts would impact on the premium paid each year out of Council funds.

A number of other councillors also supported Cllr. Cuddy and said that they too had come across motorists who had suffered damage to their vehicles due to pothole damage and who had received no compensation from the Council.

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