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Family appeals for handrail after pensioner’s fall

INJURED… Arthur McLaughlin slipped and fell on the footpath at the junction of Bridge Street and Main Street.

THIS is the injury sustained by an 82-year-old Strabane man, after he slipped and fell on the footpath at the junction of Bridge Street and Main Street in Strabane.

Arthur McLaughlin was knocked unconscious in the incident last week and was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital where he received five stitches for a wound on his head. He was also badly bruised all over his body but is otherwise expected to make a full recovery.

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However following the fall – which is Mr McLaughlin’s second in the past few months at the same spot – his family is calling for a handrail to be installed on the steep footpath incline.

“He was on his own but luckily there was an ambulance nearby at the time,” Mr McLaughlin’s daughter, Terri O’Donnell explained. “The ambulance was just up the street and when they saw what had happened they came over to him – that was one good thing.

“He was unconscious and he only came round in the ambulance when he was on his way to hospital.

“He’s not completely sure what happened. One minute he was walking along and the next he was waking up in the ambulance. Probably he slipped on the slope.

“But this is the second time he has fallen in the same place, just on the slope of the footpath as you turn onto Main Street.

“We’re not interested in making a claim against anyone, we just want to highlight it has happened.”

Mrs O’Donnell says a handrail running down the slope would help people like her father, especially after a shower of rain when the footpath tends to be slippery.

“That would probably be a big help,” she added.

“After it happened too, I saw a wee woman coming along the footpath with a walker and she was having real problems getting down the slope. It definitely needs something to help older people.”

Despite contacting the Department of Infrastructure regarding the family’s appeal for a handrail, at the time of going to press, no-one was available to comment.

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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