independent

Saturday 23 March 2019

'Casual practices' meant accident was 'inevitable'

The family of the late Terry Brennan outside Dundalk Circuit Court last week (from left): brother Niall, sister Sarah, dad John, mum Frances, sister Grace and brother Tony Brennan.
The family of the late Terry Brennan outside Dundalk Circuit Court last week (from left): brother Niall, sister Sarah, dad John, mum Frances, sister Grace and brother Tony Brennan.

Olivia Ryan

THE mother of a teenager Terry Brennan who died in a workplace accident at Drummonds Knockbridge plant blamed the company for 'wreckless management and negligence' which led to her son's death.

THE mother of a teenager Terry Brennan who died in a workplace accident at Drummonds Knockbridge plant blamed the company for 'wreckless management and negligence' which led to her son's death.

In an emotional tribute to her 19-year-son, who had just completed his Leaving Cert at school in Dundalk in the weeks before his death, Frances Brennan said: 'The owners of Drummonds company and the store manager Mr. David Reilly, did not set out to take the life of our son Terry on August 10 2009. Nevertheless due to ongoing casual practices involving health and safety, an accident was inevitable.'

She told the court: 'This was an accident which could have been prevented. But due to wreckless management and negligence, our son is dead.'

Mrs. Brennan said her son was working at Drummonds as a summer job, before he planned to take up third level studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology with a degree in chemical engineering.

'He was so looking forward to this course,' she said. 'It is impossible to put into words the loss and the grief which has devastated our family. Terry's death leaves a vacancy that can never be filled. We just take one day at a time.'

She described her son as a 'happy, friendly, obedient child who never gave me or his father one minute's trouble in his life.'

'He had grown up to be a lovely young man, a great role model for his family and friends. He helped me at home in the house, and his father out on the farm. he also had a job in the local chip shop. Only good came from Terry.'

She said there was a huge sense of loss in the parish where Terry lived, and and among his large group of friends, adding: 'He has been extinguished from their lives forever.'

'As a family we will never get over losing Terry. He was our first born and we have been robbed of his love and affection.'

'We hope no other family have to experience what we have to. May Terry rest in peace.'

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, the young man's father John said the €125,000 fine served on Drummonds 'doesn't change anything' as the family would continue to mourn the loss of Terry.

He said they had raised their concerns about health and safety at the plant in the year before their son's death when, at just 18 years old, he worked through the night at the plant.

The Argus

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