An area of footpath in Douglas village has been described as hazardous, with a local councillor labelling it “an accident waiting to happen”.
Cllr Terry Shannon (FF) explained that there is a height gap between metal manhole cover plates installed on the footpath near O’Driscoll’s pub along the Douglas East road, which is causing a serious trip hazard.
Cllr Shannon said the plates were installed by Eircom and that, unless the issue is addressed, it will lead to falls and subsequent claims.
“There is a situation in Douglas where there is an inch-wide gap between these plates on the footpath near O’Driscoll’s pub,” he explained.
“There are four metal plates on the footpath and one must be an inch higher than the others.
“I’ve been in touch with the local engineer for the area who said he can’t get a reply from Eircom who installed them,” he added.
“I’ve also been onto them numerous times and received no replies.
“It’s an accident waiting to happen.
“I saw an elderly lady in Douglas a few days ago, who already had her arm in a sling, trip over it and it’s lucky she didn’t end up in the middle of the road.
“Someone will fall there soon, they’ll break their neck, and there’ll be a claim.” Cllr Shannon said that City Hall has a fund set aside to deal with such claims but that proper spending on road and footpath maintenance, as well as estate resurfacing, would prevent claims happening in the first place.
“We need a major capital investment,” he said.
“You can see that claims are following the deterioration of the public realm.
“We have about €20 million set aside in a fund in City Hall to deal with claims,” he added.
“I understand why we need to have it because of the claims coming in, but if you spent that €20 million or anything like it on the roads and surfaces, there’d be no claims at all.
“The deterioration in the public realm is leading to these claims.
“We know some are spurious but a lot are genuine, people fall and trip because of the conditions out there.” Eircom was contacted for comment.