Oireachtas has paid €64,000 for personal injury claims since 2015
None of the six claims were brought by TDs or Senators, commission confirms
Of the injury claims lodged in relation to Leinster House, the largest settlement was for €62,250 after a trip and fall. Of that, €35,000 was in damages, with the remaining €27,500 in legal fees. Photograph: Alan Betson
The Oireachtas Commission has paid a total of €64,000 in damages and legal costs since 2015 for personal injury claims arising from incidents in Leinster House.
Claims brought by six people have been dealt with by Oireachtas authorities since 2015, according to information supplied to The Irish Times following a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
None of the claims against the Oireachtas were brought by TDs or Senators, the commission said in its response.
The response to the FoI request to the Oireachtas Commission did not specify whether claimants were employees or were visitors to the Kildare Street complex. The Georgian townhouse and its modern annexes can accommodate over 1,000 people on some sitting days between staff and visitors.
Three of the claimants said they had tripped and fallen within the complex. A further two claims involved lift incidents. The sixth claim was described only as a personal injuries claim.
Trip and fall
The largest settlement was for €62,250 and was paid out in 2015 to a person injured after a trip and fall in the premises. Of that figure, €27,500 was for legal fees.
There were two incidents in 2017, a further two in 2018 and one so far in 2019.
The amount paid out in those cases is relatively small: €1,209 for 2018 and €600 for one case this year. However, in some instances, the cases are ongoing and final settlements have not yet been reached. The final cost will therefore be considerably higher.
Recently, Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey withdrew a personal injury case against the owners of the Dean Hotel in Dublin after she fell off a swing on the premises.
Some of the criticism arose from the fact that Ms Bailey’s Fine Gael colleague, Minister for State Michael Darcy, has been running a high-profile campaign to reduce high insurance costs in Ireland and to tackle what has been described as a claim culture, or “compo” culture in the State.
Following an interview Ms Bailey did with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ, there was widespread criticism of her from political colleagues and Ministers, as well as from the public.
A senior barrister, David Kennedy, has conducted an internal review of all the circumstances for Fine Gael.