Former mayor's slip-up costs council €27,500
A former city mayor was ruing an expensive slip-up yesterday after his failure to vault a giant human tomato cost his council €27,500.
Jim Rodgers accidentally kicked Belfast City Council employee Lorraine Mallon in the head in a publicity stunt that went spectacularly wrong.
Ms Mallon, who was dressed up as the huge fruit for a photo shoot to promote a gourmet food fair, suffered a slipped disc in the ill-fated leap.
She brought a negligence case against the council and a settlement was reached this week in Belfast High Court.
She has been paid £24,021 (€27,500), with the council also agreeing to cover the cost of the action.
Egged on by press photographers, Mr Rodgers tried to jump over her but he slipped on wet grass on his run-up and ended up kneeing her in the back of the head.
The Ulster Unionist councillor said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on the outcome of the case.
But at the time of the incident in September 2007, the red-faced first citizen apologised for his stumble.
"I have been absolutely devastated over what has happened," he said.
"There had been three false runs and I think Lorraine thought this was just another one. I just caught the top of her head and unfortunately I injured her," he added.
A council spokewoman confirmed that a settlement had been reached.