Waterford council not guilty of safety breaches

Case followed the death of a father-of-three who was working with a road repair crew

Court heard  allegation of a lack of supervision was not borne out by the evidence.

Court heard allegation of a lack of supervision was not borne out by the evidence.

Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 21:01

Waterford City and County Council has been found not guilty of four alleged breaches of the health and safety Acts arising out of the death of a worker during road repairs.

On the direction of judge Pauleen Codd the jury in the Circuit Criminal Court in Waterford today returned not guilty verdicts at the close of the four-day trial.

Father-of-three John Vincent Delaney of Chapel St, Tallow, was fatally injured when he was knocked down by a reversing council truck involved in road repairs on the Mountain Fair Rd in Tallow, on July 12th, 2011.

The council had pleaded not guilty to failing to ensure a planned and organised work system without risk to the workers; failing to provide a safe place of work and failing to adequately supervise workers and as a consequence the fatality occurred.

Judge Codd said the State-led evidence was contradictory in that three of four expert witnesses gave evidence that tended towards the council being not guilty of any offence.

The allegation of a lack of supervision was not borne out by the evidence.

The judge said she was satisfied there was a person appointed to supervise the work and the work crew was well-trained on the system of work in place and a vehicle controller was available.

No blame could be laid on the council and for that reason the jury was directed to return not guilty verdict.

The judge said the jury shared her view that it was a very tragic event for the Delaney family and noted they had been in court for the trial.

The issue of costs was adjourned until October.