The last time we saw Padraig Harrington’s crazy eyes, he won the US PGA Championship in thrilling fashion at Oakland Hills.
We’re still waiting for him to win again but his eyes have certainly been getting their share of the limelight over the past week.
Last Friday Harrington addressed the controversy that has blown up over his TV campaign for laser eye surgery clinic Optical Express.
It was reported that the ad had been withdrawn from the UK airwaves because of a complaint to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority that he had his surgery done by a different clinic.
But Harrington confirmed that the wording of the ad was simply being amended, explaining: “In 1999 I had laser eye surgery in Harley Street, which is an Optical Express-owned facility. In 2002, I had another laser eye surgery on Wellington Road in Dublin, which is where Optical Express is now. I was sitting in the same rooms three weeks ago, having treatment by Optical Express.”
The only person who appears to be still interested in this story is a consultant opthalmologist at the Wellington Eye Clinic, Mr Arthur Cummings, who has issued the following statement.
He said: “We need to clear up any misunderstanding here. Mr. Harrington did have successful laser eye surgery at the Wellington Eye Clinic in 2004. Laser eye surgery, especially when done on older lasers or inferior technology, may lead to the introduction of higher order aberrations.
“It is these very aberrations that led to a reduced quality of vision that brought Padraig to seek our advice. We use the WaveLight Allegretto Eye-Q laser that remains the ONLY laser that has shown to reduce these higher order aberrations in FDA clinical trials.
“We are extremely surprised at the statement made by the advertiser in question. We are not in a position to reveal patient records. However, it is our understanding that a laser procedure in a London clinic in the late 1990s led to the creation of higher order errors or aberrations. This clinic was taken over by the advertiser only in 2006.
“Mr. Paul McGinley recommended the Wellington Eye Clinic to Padraig Harrington. Mr. Harrington is on record as saying he was delighted with his successful treatment at 2A Wellington Road, Dublin 4 which was in fact the location of the Wellington Eye Clinic at the time, and not the advertiser’s location which it is now.
“Padraig was so pleased with his results in 2004 (after which he went on to win 3 majors) that he opened our new premises in the Beacon Medical Campus, Sandyford in 2007. We are very proud of our pictures of Padraig doing the honours for us.
“The pictures are on our website at www.wellingtoneyeclinic.com. We are 30 years in business this year and pride ourselves on all our patients receiving the very highest standards of patient care. All our surgeons are resident in Ireland unlike some other laser eye surgery companies.
“With regard to the advertiser line on its website stating that Padraig had laser eye surgery in its clinics in London and Dublin, I can only assume that they could be confusing matters as they did not own or run those clinics at that time.”
Well, I hope you can all see things clearly now.