Sunday 22 April 2018

Aircraft worker falls in legal bid over colleague’s death

Tim Healy

AN aircraft maintenance engineer's legal bid to force new inquiries into the death of a colleague killed in a fall from a de-icing rig at Dublin Airport has been rejected by the High Court.

Kevin Carroll, Keatingstown, Co Wicklow, sought permission to bring a judicial review directing the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to carry out the inquiries.

His colleague, David Ralph (58), Brackenstown, Swords, Co Dublin, fell seven meters to his death when the basket of a de-icing rig broke free and crashed on to the apron of the airport on March 19, 2009.

Today, Mr Justice Michael Peart said that he was satisfied to dismiss application because Mr Carroll lacked the legal standing to bring such an action. His application had also been brought well outside the permitted time limits, the judge said.

The judge was also of the view that Mr Carroll's action "never had a chance of succeeding".

In his action, which first came before the courts last August, Mr Carroll claimed the AAIU and IAA were obliged by law to fulfill statutory duties by inquiring into the endangerment of aircraft operations on the basis there had been a "serious incident".

Mr Carroll, who was not legally represented previously told the court that he decided to bring his application after he had attended an inquest into Mr Ralph's death last May when certain factual information emerged.

Before that, there had only been rumours about the matter. He believed the court had a discretion in the matter under the legislation governing such inquiries.

Both the IAA and the AAIU had opposed Mr Carroll's application.

Costs of the application were also awarded against Mr Carroll.

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