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Music fan (80) broke her ribs in theatre fall

An 80-year-old music lover who broke three ribs in a theatre fall had to have blood drained from her chest cavity, a judge has heard.

Barrister Desmond Dockery, counsel for Eileen McCormack, told the Circuit Civil Court she had fallen down steps in The Helix Theatre following a concert.

He said Ms McCormack, of Glencloy Road, Whitehall, Dublin, in February 2006 had attended the Viennese Strauss Gala Concert with four friends in the multi-venue arts centre at DCU, Glasnevin, Dublin.

Mr Dockery said the court would hear that when leaving the back row of seats on the upper balcony she had fallen on steps and hit a wall.

Ms McCormack had been brought by ambulance to the Mater Hospital, where X-rays revealed she had fractured three ribs. She had been detained for 48 hours.

Mr Dockery said that some days after her release she had suffered pain and breathlessness and had been readmitted to the Mater and detained for a further 17 days.

During her second hospital stay she had blood drained from her chest cavity, and had been given a blood transfusion and treated for a partially collapsed lung.

Ms McCormack told the court she did not see the steps and toppled as she mingled with a crowd of theatre-goers. She said there had been nothing informing her of the existence of the steps at the end of the row.

Circuit Court President Mr Matthew Deery was told she was suing UAC Management Ltd, which trades as The Helix, as well as A&D Wejchert and Partners Ltd, architects, Lower Baggott Street, Dublin, and engineers Homan O'Brien Associates, Booterstown Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.

The court yesterday heard detailed technical evidence on the adequacy and maintenance of house lights, and adjourned the two day case until next week.