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Farmer challenges new prosecution over death of a boy who fell from his tractor


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A farmer has appealed a ruling that will allow for a second prosecution against him over the death of a boy who fell from his tractor.

The High Court ruled last year that the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) could proceed with a prosecution against George Ross over the death.

Micheál 'Haulie' Murphy (14) fell out through the door of the tractor, which was owned by Mr Ross, but driven by an employee.

The lock was broken and the door was being kept shut with plastic cable ties when the accident happened on August 23, 2013, at Knocknacullota, Co Cork.

Mr Ross (68), of Convamore, Ballyhooly, was convicted under the Road Traffic Act and fined €700 in October 2014 for allowing the tractor to be driven when it was a danger to the public.

He is challenging a separate prosecution of him, this time in Cork Circuit Criminal Court under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, on grounds that the tractor was an unsafe place to work.

He claims he should not be prosecuted a second time for what he says is substantially the same offence. He applied for a judicial review of the HSA's decision but the High Court ruled against him last year. Yesterday in the Court of Appeal he argued too little weight was given to the oppression caused to him and his family by the decision to prosecute for a second time on the same facts. Judgment was reserved.

Irish Independent