Sunday 18 August 2019

Freak accident at Wings Fest leaves two hospitalised

Gardaí sealed off the area around the fallen sign
Gardaí sealed off the area around the fallen sign
Members of the fire service attend the scene on Sunday evening

Simon Bourke

A freak accident at Bray Promenade has left a father-of-one with serious injuries. Frank Craig (33) was visiting the Wings Food Fest on Sunday afternoon when a large sign, toppled by a gust of wind, landed on him and his young nephew.

The young boy received minor injuries and was later discharged from Tallaght Hospital. However, Mr Craig sustained a broken breast bone, two broken collar bones, a broken bone in his neck, 29 staples in the back of his head, and extensive damage to his right wrist, hand and fingers and will remain in St Vincent's University Hospital (SVUH) for further treatment.

Discussing the extent of his son's injuries and the lengthy road to recovery he now faces, Mr Craig's father, Thomas, told the Irish Independent: 'Apparently they had only arrived at the festival and taken a photograph of the sign and were walking away when it blew over. Frank was pinned to the ground by it, and I'm told it took a lot of people to lift it off him.'

The incident occurred at approximately 4 p.m. at which point Gardaí at the scene moved the sign away from the injured parties and provided first-aid assistance while they waited for paramedics to arrive. Having received lengthy treatment on-site, Mr Craig was brought to SVUH to be assessed.

'He doesn't remember what happened. He just remembers waking up in absolute agony in the hospital,' said Thomas. 'We're all very worried about him. I was fearful to be honest. I thought he was gone. The doctors are still doing loads of tests to see what the injuries are. The bone in his neck is a worry. He's in a lot of pain. He's crying with the pain. It's just terrible.'

Mr Craig lives in Kilcock, Co Kildare, with wife Laura and their daughter, and works as a forklift driver in Leixlip. He and his family were attending the festival with members of their extended family when the incident occurred.

'He's a strong lad and that might help him, but everyone is still worried. He still has a collar on his neck until the doctors assess him fully,' said his father.

Appealing for anyone with mobile phone footage of the event or anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact Bray Garda Station on (01) 666 5300, Sergeant John Fitzpatrick said the scene had been preserved by Gardaí and was now being examined by the Health Safety Authority (HSA) and Wicklow Crime Scene Investigation Unit.

A spokesperson for the HSA said: 'We are aware of an incident at the Wings Food Fest and are looking into the circumstances to determine if there is a role for us to take.'

The Wings Food Fest featured a variety of food stalls, musical acts and a funfair. It was hosted by Bray Chamber, Wicklow County Council and

This paper contacted the event organisers for a response but they declined to comment on the incident.

Bray People