Belfast Telegraph

Company fined £100k after admitting health and safety breaches which led to death of GAA footballer

By Adrian Rutherford

A Co Fermanagh company has been fined £100,000 plus costs after admitting health and safety breaches which led to the death of a young GAA footballer.

Brian Og Maguire died in a workplace accident at a factory now belonging to Quinn Building Products Ltd in 2012.

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

In August 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.

Today at Omagh Crown Court a judge imposed a £50,000 fine in respect of each charge plus £7,712 costs on the company.

Judge Paul Ramsey QC said it had been a "dreadfully freak and tragic accident".

The case arose after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

Mr Maguire had been tensioning a steel rope in preparation for the manufacture of pre-cast cement slabs.

The steel rope came loose at one end and two of its strands struck the deceased, causing fatal injuries.

The investigation revealed wedge segments which grip the steel rope had shown signs of wear and tear.

In a statement Quinn Building Products Limited said they "accept the fine imposed by the Court".

The statement said: "Quinn Building Products Limited has previously accepted the charges relating to the tragic death of Brian Óg Maguire in September 2012, and accepts the fine imposed by the Court today. 

"Although not involved in the business at the time of accident, the company’s Directors accept the shortcomings that existed at that time.

"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. 

"Since taking control of the business, Quinn Building Products Limited has worked closely with the Health & Safety Executive and implemented significant changes to work practices, and continues to make every possible effort to ensure that no such incident occurs again. 

"Finally, we wish to place on record our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Brian Óg Maguire."

Members of the Maguire family were in court for the sentencing.

Brian Og Maguire 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 Croke Park 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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