Father-of-two (63) died after falling 8ft through hay-barn roof

The Dublin Coroner's Court
The Dublin Coroner's Court

Louise Roseingrave

A man died after he sustained injuries in a fall through a piece of plastic perspex while working on the roof of hay-barn, an inquest heard this week.

James Culloty (63) from Waterloo, Mallow, Co Cork was repairing a corrugated roof on a lean-to attached to the hay-barn when the accident happened.

His co-worker said the married father of two was walking on the roof when ‘all of a sudden he was gone.’

Garda Paul Manton of Glantane Garda Station said Mr Culloty fell 8 foot 7 inches through a piece of plastic perspex sheeting on the roof. The perspex is not designed to take the weight of a man, the garda said. Mr Culloty fell onto a raised galvanised pipe railing in the shed, before landing on the ground. The railing was around 4ft off the ground, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

Donal O’Riordan said he hired Mr Culloty to carry out the repairs to the roof of the hay-barn near Banteer, Co Cork after he detected a leak. He said Mr Culloty gave a quote to repair the roof after examining the job from the ground. The work was to take two days to complete.

Mr Culloty was described by his colleague Patrick O'Sullivan as ‘in good form’ as they started the job on August 29, 2016. He said the accident happened at 4.30pm.

“I didn’t see it I just heard the bang. All I heard was the crash,” Mr O'Sullivan said.

He went down to find Mr Culloty on his knees in the hay-barn.

“He said 'if I get some fresh air I’ll be grand,'” Mr O’Sullivan said but he was concerned for his co-worker. He encouraged him to call a local nurse who in turn called an ambulance.

The injured man was transferred to Cork University Hospital. He was diagnosed with severe chest injuries including multiple fractured ribs, a left kidney injury, a fractured left hip and fractured breast bone. He suffered a collapsed lung in the fall and had a pre-existing lung disease due to smoking. His injuries were severe but survivable, but doctors found it difficult to adequately ventilate him, Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said.

Mr Culloty was transferred to the Mater Hospital in Dublin where he suffered a stroke and died on September 6, 2016.

The cause of death was due to the injuries sustained from a fall on August 29 2016, with a clot and a stroke as contributory factors.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane returned a verdict of accidental death.

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