The largest settlement in a personal injury case in the history of the State was agreed at the High Court today when €11.5m was given to a ten-year-old boy from Loughrea, Co Galway.

Cullen Kennedy suffered injuries in a car crash in 2008 that left him permanently confined to a wheelchair.

Cullen was being driven to school by his mother Margaret Kennedy on 5 May 2008.

He was a rear-seat passenger and was restrained in a booster seat.

Ms Kennedy suffered a momentary lapse of concentration, when the child drew her attention to some animals.

The car crossed the centre of the road and struck another car head-on. Cullen had been restrained by a booster seat in the rear of the car, but was thrown forward - striking the front windscreen.

Ms Kennedy was uninsured at the time. The system used in court saw the case taken by the child's grandfather - against Ms Kennedy.

The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland will pay the settlement.

Cullen is now quadriplegic and cannot breathe without the assistance of a ventilator. He is cared for on a 24-hour basis by his mother and maternal grandmother.

Prior to the accident, he was described as a top-of-the-class student who was healthy and very close to his grandparents.

Cullen was in court this morning where Justice Mary Irvine spoke with him.

Justice Irvine described the settlement as excellent and said she had never seen a better settlement in her time. 

The money will be lodged in court to be managed for Cullen's benefit.