Three companies were fined a total of €32,000 by Judge Rory MacCabe at the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar today for health and safety related breaches following the death of a young electrician last year.
Lorcan Deasy (31), Errew, Castlebar, sustained serious head injuries when he fell from a height at the CMS Distribution plant in Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo on January 15, 2018. He died in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, seven days later.
Mr Deasy was working for Ivan Kelly Electrics, Kiltimagh at CMS Distribution, Bohola Road, Kiltimagh when the accident occurred.
As a result of the tragedy, prosecutions were brought by the Health and Safety Authority against CMS Distribution, Ivan Kelly Electrics and Vincent Burke Construction, Cloonlee, Knock.
A previous court was told by Patrick Reynolds, counsel for the DPP, that refurbishments were taking place in the CMS Distribution building when the accident occurred.
Mr Reynolds said the accident was not witnessed by anybody as Mr Deasy was alone at the time but an employee of CMS heard a loud bang, similar to a ladder falling.
All three defendants appeared before Judge MacCabe for sentencing today (Friday) on signed pleas of guilty.
Ronan Kennedy, counsel for CMS Distribution, expressed the company’s deep and profound regret that the tragedy, which had cast long shadows over the company and its operations, had occurred.
The company, Mr. Kennedy explained, has strong roots in the community and has been in Kiltimagh for thirty years. It employs 93 locally, 20 in Dublin and 375 worldwide.
Mr. Kennedy said it was a source of severe embarrassment to the company that it did not appreciate the necessity to appoint a project supervisor in writing.
Significant lessons had been learned from the tragedy and the company had undertaken a comprehensive safety review.
Brendan McDonagh, counsel for Ivan Kelly, said that at all times the defendant has fully and unconditionally accepted his role in the matter and met the case fully and openly.
Diarmuid Connolly, counsel for Vincent Burke, said Mr. Burke, who had failed to erect a warning sign on an incomplete scaffolding apparatus, was deeply saddened and upset over what happened..
Lessons had been learned, safety standards had been reviewed and all matters of health and safety were now in force, counsel stated.
Prior to imposing penalties, Judge MacCabe commented: “Mr. Deasy need not have lost his life on this day but he did. He went to work and didn’t come home”.
CMS Distribution was fined €2,000 for its failure to appoint in writing a competent project supervisor.
The judge said he assessed Ivan Kelly’s culpability at a higher level and fined him €10,000 on each of two health and safety breaches relating to having an unsafe system at work resulting in death.
The third defendant Vincent Burke was fined €10,000 for not having a warning sign on the scaffolding structure. Had he done so, the risk would have been significantly reduced, the judge said.
Judge MacCabe imposed costs totaling €3,867.14 on the defendants.
He expressed his personal sympathy to the family of the deceased.