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Ex-Sean Quinn firm admits health and safety breaches over death of GAA star in factory accident

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 29/08/2015

Brian Og Maguire
Brian Og Maguire
Relatives of Fermanagh GAA player Brian Og Maguire leave Dungannon Crown Court yesterday

A company once owned by ex-billionaire Sean Quinn has pleaded guilty to breaches in health and safety regulations linked to the death of a young GAA player.

Brian Og Maguire was killed in an industrial accident at the Quinn Building Products factory three years ago.

The 24-year-old from Lisnaskea was a rising star for his local club and the Fermanagh county team.

Yesterday Quinn Building Products Ltd admitted two charges arising out of the tragedy on September 13, 2012.

It pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees and failing to maintain work equipment to a suitable standard.

Managing director Liam McCaffrey appeared on behalf of the firm, based at Ballyconnell Road in Derrylin, to enter the pleas.

Members of the Maguire family wept in the public gallery during the brief hearing at Dungannon Crown Court yesterday.

A prosecuting barrister told the court that a number of victim impact statements would be prepared by family members.

These, he said, were likely to take three to four weeks to complete.

A barrister acting on behalf of Quinn Building Products said he was under "direct and specific instructions" to express how the loss of Brian Og had been felt "very strongly" within the company.

"Brian was an exceptionally popular work colleague and the sense of loss felt in the workplace has not diminished with time," he told the court.

Judge Melody McReynolds adjourned the case for sentencing until Thursday, October 8.

In a statement released afterwards, the company said: "The management of Quinn Building Products Limited acknowledges the outcome of the proceedings today related to the tragic death of our employee Brian Og Maguire in September 2012.

"This tragic event occurred prior to the acquisition of the business by Quinn Industrial Holdings Limited. The company accepts that there were failings in its maintenance of appropriate health and safety regulations at the time of the accident.

"Brian's death remains a tragic loss to his family, his community and his work colleagues and he is sadly missed by all his friends throughout the business.

"The company has worked closely with the Health & Safety Executive, implemented significant changes to work practices and made every possible effort to ensure that no such incident ever occurs again."

Brian Og was part of the Fermanagh senior GAA panel. He had played in the Ulster Senior Football Championship quarter-final defeat by Down three months before his death.

Brian also represented Ireland at under-17 level in Internationals Rules against Australia and was captain of the Lisnaskea Emmetts team that won the All-Ireland Intermediate Football championship in 2011.

A week before his death he helped the Emmetts secure their place in the final of the Fermanagh Senior Championship for the first time since 1996.

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