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SHE'S SO LUCKY; Golfer McGinley tells of relief after daughter, 6, survives 20-foot plunge.

Byline: BY JOE CLAPSON

IRISH golf star Paul McGinley has spoken of his relief after his six-year-old daughter survived a 20-foot fall down a manhole.

Maia had been playing in the front garden of Paul and Alison McGinley's mansion home when she slipped on a dislodged manhole cover and plunged down the drain.

Firefighters who were called to the Ryder Cup legend's mansion in Sunningdale, Berkshire, were astonished when she was hoisted out with hardly a scratch.

The 41-year old golfer last night said: "Obviously it was an awful thing to have happened but she was very lucky - she didn't receive any injuries."

Paul, who has two other children Niamh and Killian, added: "We are having some building work done at the front of the house and the hole was blocked with a temporary cover.

"We don't know how Maia fell in, it was an accident and we are just so grateful she is OK."

Paramedics and firefighters raced to the plush Titlarks Hill address, near Wentworth Golf Course, as soon as they received the call.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: "When our crews arrived, there was a little girl stuck down a 20ft hole in the garden.

"She was eventually pulled out and taken to St Peter's Hospital for a check-up.

"She was not seriously injured but initially appeared traumatised by what had happened."

However, brave little Maia last night brushed off the potentially-fatal fall and was back in class with her friends at the independent Coworth-Flexlands school in Windlesham.

Paul added: "She is absolutely fine and had no injuries. We are just so lucky.

"The emergency services were fantastic and St Peter's Hospital did an amazing job with her.

"Thankfully she is just her normal self and doesn't think anything of her ordeal.

"Children seem to cope with these things much better than adults."

Police were also called but a spokesman said the investigation had been taken over by officials from the Health and Safety Executive after it emerged builders had been working on the site.

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IN DADDY'S ARMS Paul McGinley cradles Maia
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 18, 2008
Words:349
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