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Firm fined €25k over death of little boy

A Drogheda shipping agent has been fined €25,000 after a three-year-old boy was killed by a falling timber pole.

Desmond Dyas, from Clogherhead, Co Louth, was crushed when the 22 metre-long fir pole toppled off a stack and rolled over him at Drogheda Port on November 10, 2009.

His father, Des Snr, had taken him to the port where the little lad loved to see the work at the dock underway.

At Dundalk District Court, Judge Michael O'Shea imposed the fine on Patrick Monahan (Drogheda) Ltd after it pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 12 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act.

At the time of the accident, a machine driver employed by Patrick Monahan Ltd had been loading the poles on to an articulated trailer by lifting them from a stack.

This caused one of the poles, in an adjacent stack, to shift and roll forward from its storage location -- crushing the youngster.

After the fine was imposed, chief executive of the Health and Safety Authority Martin O'Halloran said: "This type of tragic accident can only be avoided if employers pay particular attention to the risk to members of the public interacting with the workplace.

"Where members of the public have access to a workplace, robust procedures should be in place to ensure that no work takes place until the people have moved clear and the hazard is removed," he added.


After the accident that claimed the life of their son, the Dyas family said they did not blame anyone for Desmond's death, describing it as 'God's will' and a 'complete accident'.

In an emotional statement, Mr Dyas said he attributed no blame to anyone in the coal yard or the fork lift driver.

"Please, in no way do we feel any malice or blame towards the people in Monahan's coal yard or the chap that was driving the fork lift. We honestly, honestly, say that. I just can't imagine how they are feeling. This was God's will.

"The day he died I was just spending some quality time with my son. My father brought me down there as a young lad."