Gardai investigate electrocution of boy


A boy died instantly when he fell on to a high voltage transformer in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, yesterday. Gardaí are investigating how the lock on an ESB sub-station was broken.

The investigation got under way after the death of the boy, aged nine, in what gardaí described as a "horrific" accident shortly after 10 a.m. Paddy Harty, one of a family of three boys, lived in a Traveller encampment close to the Shandon industrial park in Dungarvan.

He had been staying in a caravan with his aunt and other members of the Harty family.

The steel door of the sub-station was locked with a "danger, keep out" warning sign posted on it.

However, gardaí who went to the scene after the alarm was raised discovered the lock had been cut. Inside, the boy had climbed on to a 7-ft steel grid which protected the transformer and the belief is that he fell and was electrocuted instantly.

An ESB official said the voltage strength was so high the boy had no chance of surviving.

How the lock on the sub-station door was cut is central to the investigation. Members of the Travelling community camped near by were adamant the nine-year-old wouldn't have been able to cut the steel lock.

"It doesn't make any sense to say that Paddy could have cut it, and we would like to know who did," one Traveller said.