independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Plumber facing manslaughter charges after carbon-monoxide poisoning death of woman on hen weekend

Richard Davis is charged with manslaughter over the death of Miriam Reidy (inset)

A PLUMBER and his heating firm face five charges including manslaughter after the death of a woman from acute carbon-monoxide poisoning in the bedroom of an Irish hotel.

Richard Davis (45) is charged with manslaughter over the death of Miriam Reidy (35) who was discovered unconscious in the Trident Hotel in Kinsale, Co Cork on January 9 2011.

Ms Reidy, a Tralee based bank worker originally from Ballyhahill, Co Limerick, was in Kinsale attending a hen party for a cousin that weekend.

A Cork coroner’s inquest into her death heard that, when she was discovered in Room 113, she had a 57pc blood saturation rate for carbon-monoxide, far into the fatal range which extends from 40pc-50pc.

Davis of Ballygarvan, Co Cork is charged with the manslaughter of Ms Reidy.

As a director of Davis Heating and Plumbing Contractors Ltd he also faces two further charges brought under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (2005).

These allege that, around January 4 2011, he failed to properly manage the conversion of a Worcester Bosch Greenstar boiler at the Trident Hotel for use with liquid petroleum gas.

The charges allege that "individuals at their place of work...were exposed to risks to their safety, health and welfare" and that, as a result, Ms Reidy suffered injury and died.

Two fresh charges were brought against Davis Heating and Plumbing Contractors Ltd of Unit 9, Portside, Marina Commercial Park, Centre Park Road, Cork.

These are similar to other two Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (2005) charges brought against Davis as a director of the same firm.

Judge James McNulty was told by Malachy Boohig, for the State, that the book of evidence in the case is quite substantial and is not yet ready.

Mr Boohig said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has instructed that the two fresh charges against the plumbing company be also dealt with on indictment.

All five charges will be dealt with by Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Boohig added that, with the consent of defence counsel, Shane Collins-Daly, he was applying for the matter to be adjourned.

Judge McNulty said that the State were also consenting to a defence application for an alteration to Davis' existing bail conditions to allow his passport to be returned to him.

Judge McNulty granted the order and directed that Davis be given back his passport by gardai.

Davis was remanded on continuing bail to appear again before Kinsale District Court on October 3next.

The defendant, who appeared in court wearing a navy suit, did not speak during the brief hearing.

Ms Reidy died shortly after being discovered lying unconscious in her Trident Hotel bedroom on the morning of January 9 2011.

She was discovered in the bedroom alongside her sister, Patricia (37), after fellow party-goers became concerned about the welfare of the two sisters after they failed to arrive down for breakfast as planned.

Ms Reidy, who was from Limerick but was living at Sunday’s Well, Lisloose, Tralee, Co Kerry where she worked in an AIB branch, was part of a group of 25 friends attending a weekend hen party for her cousin Marie Reidy when the tragedy occurred.

By Ralph Riegel

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