Sunday 17 December 2017

TV man lands €18,500 payout after injury on Brendan show

A PROP assistant injured while working on RTE's The Saturday Night Show has been awarded €18,500 in damages.

During a civil action yesterday, a judge watched a YouTube clip of Brendan O'Connor's show as part of evidence in the personal injuries case.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane saw O'Connor having to leave his presenter's chair and hold back drapes while cameras broadcast a number by The Overtones. On the video he told show producers: "I did warn you about this curtain."

Yesterday in the Circuit Civil Court the curtain featured in a damages claim by 59-year-old props assistant Arthur McMullen, who was awarded €18,500 damages against RTE for an injury he suffered in a fall after he had unsnagged the curtain several times during a rehearsal for the show in February 2010.

Barrister Paul Gallagher told the court that Mr McMullen had fallen over a studio floor lamp and had injured his left elbow.

Mr McMullen said that although the accident happened two years ago he still suffered from pain in his elbow. He said that several times he had to free a drape which had become snagged in a mirror ball hanging from a gantry and had fallen on his arm.


John Murray, a rigger and colleague of Mr McMullan in RTE, said there was "an ongoing issue with flying drapes" at the Donnybrook studios. Studios were not well-lit places and there would normally be a lot of floor lamps and cables around.

Seamus Breen, counsel for RTE, said the station denied liability. Mr McMullan was an experienced props assistant and had to look out for his own safety.

Civil engineers Paul Romeril, for Mr McMullen, and Stephen Mooney, for RTE, said they had held a joint inspection during a "reconstruction" of what would have been the situation in the studio.

They agreed that workers could be "distracted and more vulnerable" while working in studio situations but television studios inevitably had to have lights and cables lying around.

Judge Linnane, who viewed the YouTube video, which is entitled How Pathetic Is RTE, noted there had been a lot of lamps and cables on the studio floor.


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