Inquest into deaths in industrial accident adjourned

The inquest into the deaths of two men in an industrial accident at a grain plant in mid Louth, was adjourned yesterday (Monday) so their families can have more time to consult with their legal advisors.

Terry Brennan (19) of Knockcorr, Knockbridge and Paul Farrell (35) of Cherrywood Park, Tallanstown died after being found unconscious in an elevator pit at Drummonds Limited in Knockbridge on the 10th of August 2009.

The company - with an address at Paddingstown, Clonee, County Meath was fined €125,000 at Dundalk Circuit Court in October, after admitting a breach of Health and Safety regulations in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Authority.

The inquest had been listed for hearing yesterday morning and a jury was present to hear evidence.

However, they were sent away and the Louth County Coroner Ronan Maguire subsequently explained that he had been asked for some time on behalf of the families as the notice they had received of the hearing was not enough.

Barrister Eamonn Coffey - who represents the families of both men, said they got notice in the course of last week of the possibility that the inquest was going to take place and added that the families legal representatives were not ready for a full hearing.

He said as a result he was applying for an adjournment to January so the families legal advisors can take instructions and added that he estimated the hearing could take one or two days.

Mr. Coffey also asked to be supplied with the contact details for those named in the Health And Safety Authority’s report, which was prepared following an investigation of the deaths.

The coroner said that the inquest must get as much information in the public domain as possible “principally for the benefit of the families”.

Mr. Maguire adjourned the case for mention in January when a date for hearing will be fixed and he added that he will make a formal request to the HSA - that a copy of an expert report (prepared as part of the file for the Health and Safety Prosecution in the Circuit Court) be supplied to the families’ legal representatives.


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