A 25-year-old bar assistant who slipped on pigeon faeces at the open-air restaurant in which she worked at Dublin’s Heuston Rail Station has been awarded almost €25,000 damages against CIÉ.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, heard Leann Walsh tended table on the decking outside the Heuston Station Refreshment Rooms and would often have to shoo away pigeons.

Barrister Karl Finnegan, for Ms Walsh, told the circuit civil court she had been working outdoors on May 15, 2013, when she stepped on pigeon faeces and her right leg went from under her.

Mr Finnegan said she had fallen sideways on her knees and back, suffering soft tissue injuries to her ankle, knees, and lower back.

Gerry Ryan, counsel for CIÉ, told the court the Irish Rail Company had entered a full defence. Barrister Sarah Corcoran, for the Heuston Refreshment Rooms, of West Pier, Howth, said her client had also denied liability.

Ms Corcoran told the court that the problem of pigeons was a serious one for her client, who had asked CIÉ to deal with the matter.

Judge Groarke, awarding Ms Walsh, of Merrion Court, Blackhall St, Dublin, €22,500 damages with special damages of €2,148, said he would grant judgment against both defendants but would make an order over in favour of the restaurant against CIÉ.

The judge said what had been described to the court was a visitation by pigeons calling to the Heuston Refreshment Rooms outside restaurant area on at least six or seven times a day.

Judge Groarke said that with the comings and goings and deposits of pigeons the area was not a safe place of work for Ms Walsh, who had to serve customers at tables as well as clean up the area.

He believed an accident of the type before the court was foreseeable despite there being no evidence of a similar slip in the 19 years during which Heuston Refreshment Rooms ran the restaurant.

Among the works carried out was the placing of spikes, fire gel, a hawk on a pole with which the pigeons became very acquainted, and humane traps. No permanent solution had been found to the problem.

The judge said Ms Walsh and the restaurant did all they reasonably could in order to keep the premises clean and clean up after the pigeons. The restaurant had tried to get CIÉ to deal with the problem but CIE had decided not to take appropriate steps.


Lifestyle

Helen O’Callaghan on the dangers of products high in caffeine.The dangers of energy drinks full of sugar

When bride-to-be Alma Clohessy enlisted her mother Rita’s help in planning her wedding, they made the most of every precious moment together.Wedding of the Week: 'It was the best, yet most emotional day of my life'

As you may be aware, new rules around motor insurance documentation have been introduced. The rules are aimed at improving transparency for consumers but a broker is warning they may have unintended consequences and could cause some confusion among policy holders.Drive a hard bargain for better car insurance

When Peter Ryan lost 90% of his vision in his early 20s, his readjustment was emotionally painful, but maturing, says Helen O’CallaghanA new way of seeing the world: Peter Ryan talks about losing 90% of his sight in his early 20s

More From The Irish Examiner