Pearl Flynn took case against Dun Laoghaire Rathdown council after she stepped into hidden hole

A woman, who will have to wear a special insole in one of her shoes for the rest of her life following a fall in Blackrock Park, Dublin, settled a €60,000 damages claim against Dún Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council.

Pearl Flynn (53) of Emmet Square, Blackrock, told her counsel that she twisted her ankle when she stepped into a hole hidden by long grass which, at the time, came up to her knees.

Judge Cormac Quinn was told, following her evidence and the cross-examination of witnesses for the local authority, that the case had settled and could be struck out with an order for costs in his client’s favour.

Ms Flynn said that in October 2013 she had been walking her dogs in the park, which her home overlooks, when her right foot became trapped in a hole in the ground twisting her ankle outwards.

She had limped home and had elevated and iced her foot which she had continued to do at home for up to a fortnight before visiting her GP who found she had damaged ligaments in her ankle. When the pain had not eased after six weeks she had been referred to St Michael’s Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, for an X-ray.

Judge Quinn heard that she had been prescribed Difene gel and paracetamol until eventually she had to receive steroid injections. She had been unable to walk her dogs in the park since the accident which she used to do at least twice a day.

She had to wear a special boot for a period and had to give up Difene tablets as they had caused her stomach to bleed and had been bleeding in her nose and mouth.

Ms Flynn had attended Professor Robert Flavin, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who felt she had sustained a lateral column injury. He believed she would require to wear a medial arch support and fibre carbon inlay for the rest of her life which would limit the type of footwear she could wear.

It was said during cross-examination of witnesses for the local authority that the park had been laid out on reclaimed ground and rats, foxes and dogs burrowed in some areas which periodically had led to holes having to be filled in by the council.

Ms Flynn, who was described as unemployed and on disability benefit, had, prior to the case coming on for hearing, divulged to the county council’s legal team that she had suffered a back injury in a fall on a stairs 25 years ago and had been unable to work since.