Saturday 24 March 2018

Two killed in separate workplace accidents

University Hospital Limerick
University Hospital Limerick

Pat Flynn

Gardai are investigating the tragic deaths of two men in incidents involving heavy machinery that occurred in less than 24 hours in Co Clare.

On Friday afternoon, a 52-year-old man died when the bucket unit of a dumper trump crushed him.

The man, named locally as Kieran O'Driscoll, was working on the vehicle in the front yard of a house at Crumlin overlooking the sea at Fanore in the north of the county.

The Garda investigation into the tragedy will look at whether the hydraulics in the vehicle may have failed.

Mr O'Driscoll is understood to have been working on the dumper when he became trapped between the bucket and the chassis.

The emergency services were alerted and an ambulance and rapid response advanced paramedic unit from Ennis responded to the scene.

Two units of the fire brigade from Ennistymon and a number of garda patrol cars also attended the incident.

However, Mr O'Driscoll was pronounced dead at the scene.

A garda technical team carried out an immediate investigation.

Mr O'Driscoll's body was later removed by hearse to University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem examination was due to be carried out.

On Thursday night, a popular farmer and active community man died tragically in an accident at his home near Doonbeg.

The 54-year-old, named locally as Thomas Bernard Walsh, suffered fatal injuries while operating a rotary mower on land at his home at Shragh.

A close friend of the victim made the horrific discovery when he arrived at the house at around 7pm.

Emergency services were also alerted but Mr Walsh was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor.

"He was very quiet spoken but a lovely man. He was very involved in the local community and loved sport, music and dancing.

"He was a member of the bingo committee and the local set-dancing group too. He was very obliging and would do anything for anyone," Rita McInerney, of McInerney's shop in Doonbeg, said.

"He was very well known and popular and all the farmers and indeed the entire community are very upset at the news. It's an awful tragedy," Ms McInerney added.

Gardai are investigating both incidents while the county coroner has been informed.

The Doonbeg tragedy is also being investigated by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

Recent figures by the Health and Safety Authority show that there were 55 people killed in work-related accidents last year, representing a 17pc increase on the 47 reported in 2013.

Sunday Independent

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