President of Ireland Mary McAleese has been restricted to limited official engagements following a skiing accident in Austria on Christmas Eve. During a short vacation with her husband Martin and their three children, she fell when trying to board a ski lift on the resort slopes of Bad Hofgastein, near Salzburg. Her ankle bone shattered on impact and she received emergency surgery at a nearby hospital, during which two metal pins were inserted to rejoin the fractured bones.
The President spent three days– including Christmas Day – recovering in hospital and returned to Dublin on December 29. “Obviously she was very worried about what it meant for her movements and fulfilling her engagements in the next months,” said a spokesperson.
Although engagements at Aras an Uachtaráin – the President’s residence in Phoenix Park – would go ahead as scheduled, many of Mrs. McAleese’s public appearances have been cancelled. Her foot will remain in plaster for six weeks but doctors expressed satisfaction with the success of the operation. ♦