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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Dad’s anguish after son (3) crushed by one-tonne pole

Elaine Keogh

Published 20/12/2012 | 05:00

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Desmond Dyas
Little Desmond Dyas pictured with his mum Annamarie

A toddler died when a one-tonne telegraph pole rolled on to him at a dockyard – despite his father's desperate attempts to save him.

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An inquest in Drogheda heard how his distraught father tried to resuscitate him as he waited for the ambulance to arrive at the town's port, where there is an historical public right of way.

The inquest found that he was the victim of an accidental death.

Desmond Dyas often took his son Desmond Jnr (3) to the town quay, Mr Dyas told the inquest.

The inquest heard that Mr Dyas and his son were 100ft away as a forklift moved poles on to a waiting truck.

Mr Dyas said that the forklift seemed to have difficulty freeing poles and the stack began to collapse.

He said a 23-metre long pole then struck his son on the chest. "I couldn't move it, I screamed for help," he said.

He then performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on his stricken son.

The accident happened just before noon on the November 10, 2009.

Desmond Jnr was pronounced dead by a doctor at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital at 12.32pm – but Mr Dyas said he believed his son died at the quay.

Mark Madigan, HSA inspector, said that due to the ends of poles in two of the stacks being intertwined, when the poles rolled in one stack they affected the poles in the other stack.

He said only one of the four stacks on the quayside had chocks or end stocks which are used to prevent unplanned rolling.

At Dundalk Circuit Court earlier this year shipping company Patrick Monahan (Drogheda) Ltd was fined €25,000 for a breach of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work regulations.

Company director Michael Ronayne pleaded guilty on behalf of the company, admitting that it failed to ensure that people who were not its employees were not exposed to risk.

The inquest heard Desmond Jnr died from traumatic crush injuries and asphyxia and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Irish Independent

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