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  • Writer's picturePatrick Moriarty

Mayo firm fined €500,000 over workplace death

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

A Co Mayo business has been fined €500,000 in connection with the death of a man in a workplace accident four years ago.

Peter McDonnell & Associates have been representing accident victims for over 40 years. If you have a question about medical negligence or workplace or car accident please contact us on 0872285247 or

Joseph Harrington died when he fell into a stone crusher at Harrington Concrete and Quarries in Aghamore, near Ballyhaunis, on 11 June 2015.

The 27-year-old fell around five metres from a location that had no physical barriers to protect those working near the machinery in question. Mr Harrington, who was no relation of his employer, died instantly.

The company pleaded guilty to three breaches of health and safety legislation, following an investigation by the Health and Safety Authority.

The first related to a failure to have sufficient barriers around the crushing machinery; the second was in connection with an absence of systems to safely unblock the crusher; and the third in relation to other breaches of workplace safety legislation.

During a sentencing hearing last autumn, Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court was told that there were no witnesses to the accident, but it was suspected Mr Harrington fell into the crusher while trying to release a blockage.

Judge Rory McCabe said he found it "really disturbing" that the accident "could so easily have been avoided". Counsel for Harrington Concrete and Quarries told the court that the company had invested in remedial works to ensure a tragedy of this kind would not happen again.

Financial Blueprint of a High Court Case

Medical Negligence and workplace or car accident cases are often a topic of conversation in Ireland. A case is built on the strength of expert reports and testimony. The ancillary costs are driven up by lack of access to salient medical records and details. This further underlines the need for mandatory disclosure and the need for patients to have live access to their own updated medical records.

At Peter McDonnell & Associates we know from experience that the single greatest cause of worry for clients is the issue of legal fees.

Contact us on 087 2285247 or and we shall explain how legal fees and expert witnesses fees are paid

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or a proportion of any award or settlement.

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