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Construction companies charged over Mayo death

By: 
RTE News

Charges have been brought against two construction companies following a workplace accident that resulted in the death of a man in Co Mayo almost three years ago. 

German hydraulic technician Lars Wagner was killed while he was working on the Corrib Gas project in September 2013.

The 26-year-old was involved in the construction of a tunnel to carry a pipeline under Sruwaddacon Bay.

Proceedings are being brought against BAM Civil Limited and Wayss and Freytag, Ingenieurbau AG, following the completion of an investigation by the Health and Safety Authority. 

Both companies were contracted to carry out work on the tunnel-boring project.

They are charged with breaches of the 2005 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act. 

Today, at Belmullet District Court, Garda Amanda Cunningham gave evidence that she had served a copy of the Book of Evidence to Conor Connelly, a solicitor acting on behalf of BAM Civil Limited. 

State Solicitor for Mayo Vincent Deane told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions had consented to a trial and requested that the matter be sent forward to a sitting of Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court later this month. 

The State did not seek any conditions regarding bail or surety.

Judge Alan Mitchell was told that a representative of the company, Pat McAndrew, was present in court. He did not speak during the brief hearing. 

Three similar charges are also being brought against Wayss and Freytag, Ingenieurbau AG. 

Garda Cunningham gave evidence that she had served the same Book of Evidence in respect of the proceedings against that company. 

The court was told there was no director of the Germany-based firm present for today's hearing but that solicitor Tom Browne had been authorised as a representative on behalf of the company.

A letter to this effect, signed by a director of Wayss and Freytag was presented to the court.

Judge Mitchell noted that the solicitor had received the Book of Evidence and also sent the matter forward for trial at Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court this month.

The judge issued an alibi warning to both companies under the terms of the 1984 Criminal Justice Act.

This relates to the 14-day period of notification that must be observed in the event that the defence intends to call evidence tending to show the accused "was not or was unlikely to have been" at the place where the offence is alleged to have been committed. 

Posted Date: 
8 June 2016