May 11, 2022

Guilty plea by Kerry windfarm firm over the death of employee in Sligo landslide

Patrick McCaffrey (37) from Rossinver, Co Leitrim died at Derrysallagh wind farm | By Paul Deering | The Sligo Champion | May 11 2022 |

A company director has pleaded guilty to two charges brought under health and safety legislation arising out of the death of a worker who was killed in a windfarm landslide.

Denis Moriarty, The Kerries Limited, pleaded to two charges when arraigned before Judge Catherine Staines at Sligo Circuit Court.

The company has registered offices at Monavalley Business Park, Tralee, County Kerry.

The charges relate to a landslide in December 2016 at Derrysallagh wind farm, Glen, County Sligo which claimed the life of Patrick McCaffrey (37) of Rossinver, County Leitrim.

In all there were six counts before the court brought under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 but when the case was called at last week’s sitting of the court, Mr Moriarty was arraigned on two counts and pleaded guilty.

The counts stated that the company constructed a temporary road linking to an existing road in an unsafe manner and that it failed to obtain an appropriate assessment and design from a geotechnical engineer so that the risk of a landslide of peat occurring would be eliminated and the road which was built was a floating one constructed in a high risk area of peatland and as a consequence, Patrick McCaffrey died.

The charges were brought under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

The case was adjourned by Judge Staines to October 4th next to fix a date for sentencing. Victim Impact reports were also ordered for that date. The Judge extended sympathy to members of the late Mr McCaffrey’s family who were present in court for the brief hearing.

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