Kate Heaney A COUNTY council chairman who suffered severe burning to his scrotum during a football match 13 years ago has been awarded ?9,000 in damages.
Independent Fianna Fail councillor Dessie Larkin, from Letterkenny, Co Donegal, sued the Football Association of Ireland for the injuries he sustained to his testicles and inner thighs from the caustic effect of the lime used to mark the football pitch.
At Letterkenny circuit court yesterday, Cllr Larkin recalled playing a soccer match for Bonagee Celtic in the FAI Junior Cup at Drumbar Football Club, Rockfield, Donegal Town, on October 3, 1993.
The day was very wet. There were no changing or showering facilities available at the old house used by the club and after the match when he removed his football shorts, he noticed "white stuff like Alka Seltzer" in his shorts and his skin was red.
The former mayor of Letterkenny Town Council told the court that he felt very uncomfortable in his jeans on the drive home, which at the time he put down to not having been able to wash after the match.
Cllr Larkin said he went straight to bed, applied 'Sudocream' to the painful area and took painkillers.
Referee on the day, Tony Gillroy, told the court that the pitch had been lined with lime and water two hours before the match and again an hour before the match because of the rain. There were no mixing instructions for the lime solution given.
Judge Derbhla Flanagan was told that there were no instructions from the FAI as to what ratio of lime to water there should be in the mix and because the machine for lining the pitch was broken it was done with a bucket and brush by two workmen.
"Had he been in a position to shower and remove the lime solution he might not have suffered the injury. The onus was on the defendants to ensure that players be warned to take precautions to prevent this," the judge held.
She awarded him ?9,000 plus legal costs.