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€130,000 in damages paid out for falls in Temple Bar

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Claims: A high of €109,369 in compensation was paid in 2016 after falls in the Temple Bar area. Stock picture

Claims: A high of €109,369 in compensation was paid in 2016 after falls in the Temple Bar area. Stock picture

Claims: A high of €109,369 in compensation was paid in 2016 after falls in the Temple Bar area. Stock picture

Dublin City Council has paid out a total of €130,000 in compensation to people who fell in the Temple Bar area between 2015 and 2018.

But the true figures may be higher - as claimants are afraid that listing the popular nightlife district as a location will work against them in bringing a successful case.

They fear it "may imply the accident happened while they were drunk", according to a source.

The figures, released to the Irish Independent under a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, show €10,906 was paid out in 2015. However, this rose sharply the following year as €109,369 was paid in 2016, then tumbled to €553 in 2017 and €8,545 in 2018.

A total of 22 claims were brought over this period.

However, the council would not release settlement figures for three of the cases as "to do so may identify the claimants involved in each case".

A spokesperson for the authority said there may be further incidents in the vicinity of Temple Bar during this period other than those reflected in the figures.

This is because sometimes Temple Bar is not specifically listed in the accident location when a claim is made.

A legal source said claimants may be reluctant to name it as the location of the incident as "there is a fear it may imply the accident happened while they were drunk".

Earlier this year a 33-year-old airport worker, who tripped over a centuries-old "jostle stone" after exiting a pub in Temple Bar, lost a €60,000 personal injuries claim against both the pub and Dublin City Council.

She was also ordered to pay the legal costs of the two defendants.

The court heard the "jostle stone" was a protected structure and had been placed there hundreds of years ago at the corner of the pub to prevent the steel-rimmed wheels of carts gouging plaster out of the walls.

Dismissing the claim, Judge Jacqueline Linnane said: "Someone suffering an injury does not necessarily mean they will get compensation. They have to prove liability against a defendant."

A total of more than €43m was paid out in insurance claims on behalf of 28 local authorities in the first nine months of 2019.

Dublin City Council made settlements worth a total of €7.5m.

In response to the Irish Independent's inquiries, a spokesperson for the council said: "I have been advised to tell you that the law department has no comment to make on the information provided to you by way of FOI.

"Dublin City Council continues to make every effort to reduce their exposure to personal injury claims through maintenance and prompt response to complaints when received."

Irish Independent