Councillor gets €9,000 from FAI for lime burns


The chairman of Donegal County Council was yesterday awarded €9,000 against the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for what the judge described as "embarrassing" burns 13 years ago.

Independent Fianna Fáil councillor Dessie Larkin from Letterkenny sued the FAI for injuries resulting from the caustic effect that lime used to mark a pitch had on his testicles and inner thighs.

Mr Larkin told the court he played for Bonagee Celtic in the FAI Junior Cup at Drumbar Football Club, Rockfield, Donegal town, on October 3rd, 1993, which was a very wet day.

No changing or showering facilities were available at the old house used for changing rooms, and after the match, when he took off his football shorts, he noticed "white stuff like Alka Seltzer" in his shorts and his skin was red.

Mr Larkin, a former mayor of Letterkenny Town Council, said he had felt very uncomfortable on the drive home. He thought this was because he had not been able to wash after the match.

Mary Larkin, who was his girlfriend at the time, told the court that he was in great pain as they returned from the match. The couple were married in 1994, and have three children.

Mr Larkin said he went straight to bed, put Sudocreme on the painful area and took painkillers. The next morning when he awoke his shorts were stuck to his scrotum area. However he went to his work at Unifi. The nurse at the plant sent him to Dr James McDaid, who sent him to hospital.

Judge Derbhla Flanagan concluded that in the heavy rain Mr Larkin came in contact with the solution and it got into his shorts. "The onus was on the defendants to ensure that players be warned to take precautions to prevent this," she said.