A PLUMBER has denied the manslaughter of a young bank worker who died after being overcome by carbon-monoxide gas in the bedroom of a Cork hotel as she attended her cousin's hen party.
Richard Davis (45) is charged with manslaughter over the death of Miriam Reidy (35) who was discovered lying unconscious in her Trident Hotel bedroom in Kinsale, Co Cork on January 9 2011.
Ms Reidy, a Tralee based bank worker originally from Ballyhahill, Co Limerick, was in the seaside town attending a hen party for a cousin, Marie, that weekend.
Davis of Killanully, 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.
Davis Heating and Plumbing Contractors Ltd of Unit 9, Portside, Marina Commercial Park, Centre Park Road, Cork also faces two charges.
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.
In opening the case, Brendan Grehan SC, for the State, told the Cork Circuit Criminal Court jury the matter was effectively about gross negligence.
"The prosecution are saying...none of these other issues would have mattered if Richard Davis and his company had correctly converted the boiler in question," he said.
"The boiler was left spewing out lethal levels of carbon monoxide."
"This case is effectively about carbon monoxide poisoning."
Mr Grehan said that, in the safety investigation conducted after Ms Reidy's death, the levels of carbon-monoxide from the boiler in question were off the scale of a special hand-held reading machine used in a test at the Trident Hotel.
The State has claimed that Mr Davis did not correctly convert the boiler, did not follow the manufacturer's precise instructions and did not conduct a safety test after the conversion.
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 when they failed to arrive down for breakfast as planned.
Patricia, who was found moaning and semi-conscious on her bed, later made a full recovery thanks to the intervention of her cousin, Marie, who was a nurse.
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 Marie Reidy when the tragedy occurred.
The case, before Judge Sean O'Donnabhain and a jury of nine men and three women, will involve up to 100 witnesses and could last four weeks.