Carpenter sues Intel claiming he was exposed to toxic chemical at Leixlip plant

Mark Callan has been left with a very significant, lasting and disabling chronic asthmatic condition, court hears

A carpenter who claims he was exposed to a toxic and noxious chemical while working on a job at the Intel Ireland plant has launched a High Court action.

Mark Callan has been left with a very significant, lasting and disabling chronic asthmatic condition, the court heard.

Opening the case on Thursday, senior counsel Barney Quirke said it was Mr Callan’s case that there was an alleged cluster of 17 people who had worked on the pop out crew on a job at the Intel plant in Leixlip, Co Kildare, about 10 years ago who displayed symptoms including asthma and headaches and vomiting. He said were the classic symptoms of exposure to the chemical, Penatron.

Mr Quirke, instructed by Tiernan Solicitors, said it was also their contention that the method used to mix the “dangerous” chemical Penatron in a regular bucket was “primitive and Dickensian”.


Counsel said this was changed to another system using jugs and a trolley after the alleged cluster appeared and a third pump system similar to that used in the US was brought in on December 2014 where, counsel said, the chemical was mixed in a machine which was far more satisfactory.

He said concerns among the crew at the Intel plant became greater in January 2014 when the carpenter was hospitalised for “an unknown reason” with symptoms including headaches and vomiting. The works were being out by Ardmac Ltd, which has a registered office at Swords Business Campus, Balheary Road, Swords, Co Dublin.

Counsel said the evidence would also be that a chemical alarm system went off on a regular basis and particularly as the crew’s work intensified.

Mr Quirke said the appropriate thing to do once it was known about the alleged cluster would have been to close down the factory.

Mark Callan (50), from Ballyoran, Dundalk, Co Louth, has sued his employer Ardmac Ltd and Intel Ltd with registered offices at Collinstown Industrial Park, Leixlip, and Intel Ireland Ltd with registered offices at Simmonscourt House, Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Mr Callan has claimed he was exposed to toxic and noxious chemicals including Penatron/ASTC 3003c over a period of 13 months from July 2013 to August 2014, allegedly while carrying out work at the Intel plant.

It is further claimed there was a failure to have regard to the fact that the system of work allegedly involved Mr Callan and his co-workers being exposed to a sensitising agent over a protracted period and that they developed symptoms allegedly consistent with being exposed to noxious fumes or toxic chemical agents. It is further claimed that the alleged symptoms of Mr Callan and his co employees tended to improve when away from work.

All the claims are denied by Ardmac and Intel and full defences have been filed, Ms Justice Denise Brett was told.

The case, which is expected to last three weeks, continues.