28 May 2022

€364,000 compensation paid for slips and falls on Donegal footpaths

It's difficult to get small repairs done in a timely manner - Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh

€364,000 compensation paid for slips and falls on Donegal footpaths

Dangerous footpaths are costing the council lots of money

Donegal Co Council paid out €364,000 relating to trips and falls on its footpaths, it has been revealed.

At Tuesday's meeting of the Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District cathaoirleach Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh said of the 184 active claims against the council, €518,000 compensation was paid out in the last quarter of 2021 with €364,000 relating to trips and falls on poor footpaths.

"It makes me wonder if we are doing all we can to avoid these slips and falls Not only is it insurance claims but these can cause arthritis which can cause people bother for the remainder of their days."

He added footpaths should be in the best possible condition although he admitted it could be difficult to get small repairs done in a timely manner. He said he wondered whether this contributed to the trips and falls.

He gave examples of how other local authorities dealt with damaged footpaths saying Dublin County Council fixed them immediately while other councils used rebates received from IPB Insurance to fund the repairs. He also suggested that the IPB rebates could be used to employ more people permanently in these works.

"I know everyone is doing their best but it seems to take a long time for small jobs to be done. I know of one badly broken piece of footpath that I reported in 2019 and it is still not fixed."

His motion was seconded by independent councillor Michael McBride who said he was a council representative on IPB a number of years ago and discovered they paid out on many of the claims that came in under €30,000 because it was more cost-effective to do that than go to court.

"I raised an issue about a poor footpath in Ashlawn about two years ago because a lady in a wheelchair was having difficulties because of it. I drove over there recently and things hadn't changed," he said.

In a written reply to his motion, Cllr Kavanagh was told that the council is currently in the process of establishing the funding that is available for 2022. When this is established, they will be in contact with the councillors to agree on a programme of improvement works and upgrades.

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