Northern Ireland

Brian Óg Maguire was victim of 'tragic, freakish accident'

Brian Óg Maguire Image copyright Cathal Noonan
Image caption Brian Óg Maguire was a senior Fermanagh GAA football player

A worker who was killed at a County Fermanagh cement factory was the victim of a "tragic, freakish accident", a court has been told.

Brian Óg Maguire, 24, from Lisnaskea died after being hit by a steel cable which snapped at the Quinn pre-stressed concrete factory in Derrylin on 13 September 2012.

Quinn Building Products Ltd pleaded guilty in August to failing to ensure the safety of an employee, and failing to maintain work equipment.

A prosecution barrister told Omagh Crown Court that this was not the first time a steel cable had snapped, but the company had kept no records of previous incidents.

He said there was no proper cleaning regime and a failure to replace worn equipment.

He said Brian Óg Maguire had been "terribly unlucky" but the breaches of Health and Safety legislation by the company had caused his death.

A barrister representing Quinn Building Products said Brian Óg Maguire had been standing in a mesh safety cage when the cable snapped and whipped backwards.

'Freakish accident'

He said it was the first time a steel rope had snapped in this way before, describing what happened as a "perfect storm that no one ever envisaged".

In a statement on Friday, the company's management said the "tragic event" had occurred prior to the acquisition of the business by Quinn Industrial Holdings Limited.

The barrister said the company had accepted responsibility for what he described as a "terribly unlucky accident, a freakish accident" and had taken "significant steps to enhance safety procedures" so that a "similar, tragic accident could not happen".

He added: "I do not in any way seek to undermine the terrible loss the family has experienced."

Brian Óg Maguire was a Fermanagh senior GAA footballer and his family gave the court victim impact statements which the judge described as "extremely moving".

The judge will determine the level of fine the company must pay for two breaches of Health and Safety legislation in two weeks time.

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