Northern Ireland

Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew received €10,000 payout after breaking her leg in Leinster House

Michell Gildernew, Sinn Fein MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone

Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew received a €10,000 payout after breaking her leg in Leinster House in Dublin.

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP suffered the injury after falling down stairs while attending a committee meeting in 2012.

At the time of the fall, she told of how she had been wearing knee-high boots and “got my heel caught in a metal grate”.

She said she “tripped and fell all the way down the stairs in a very undignified manner” adding that she was “absolutely mortified”.

It has now emerged that Ms Gildernew, who last month said she was to stand in the Republic in the forthcoming European elections, received a €10,000 payout for breaking her leg in the fall.

The gates of Leinster House, Dublin, the seat of the Oireachtas (Brian Lawless/UK)
Ms Gildernew fell at Leinster House in Dublin. PICTURE: BRIAN LAWLESS/PA

The Irish Independent reported on Monday that Ms Gildernew sought damages from the Houses of the Oireachtas.

She received the settlement through the State Claims Agency in 2019.

“This relates to an injury I suffered more than a decade ago whilst attending a meeting of the Oireachtas Good Friday Agreement Committee in Leinster House,” she told the newspaper.

When she spoke about the fall in February 2012 to the Impartial Reporter, Ms Gildernew said it had happened “in front of TDs, loyalists, republicans, senators, you name it”.

Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew is to stand in the European elections in June
Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew recently announced she is to stand in the European elections in June. PICTURE: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA

The former Stormont agriculture minister said she had driven home from Dublin and only realised the extent of her injury when she took off her boot.

“I was wearing knee-high boots; I have good country woman’s calves and the boots are hard to get on me anyway so they were giving me great support, and I drove home,” she said.

“When I took the boots off later I noticed the foot was badly swollen,” she said.

She went to hospital, where she said “they thought it was an old injury because I had broken my ankle before”.

“They put me in a strap, on a pair of crutches and sent me on my way,” she added.

“Then they phoned me on the Friday and said, ‘Your leg is broken, will you please come back?’ I tramped about a week before I got the plaster on.”

Sinn Féin and Ms Gildernew have been contacted for comment.