Site foreman found not guilty of negligence in Milford case

A building site foreman has been found not guilty at told Letterkenny Circuit Court  on charges of negligence  following the death of a worker.

Owen Curran, 67, was charged with three counts of negligence under the Health and Safety and Health Act 2005.

Mr Curran was running a site in Forquar, Milford January 8th, 2007 when Francie Callaghan died after being hit by a digger bucket while loading concrete manhole covers.

The Health and Safety Authority claimed that Owen Curran, of Lower Dore, Bunbeg, had devised a method of using chains to lift the 750kg manhole covers with a digger and place them in another location.

The prosecution claimed that if this method had not been in place then Mr Callaghan of Shanagh, Fanad, would never have been under the bucket and been hit.

However defence barrister Peter Nolan said the reason Mr Callaghan died was because a safety pin connecting the digger bucket to the arm of the machine had not been in place.

The driver of the digger has already pleaded guilty to various other charges.

Mr Nolan claimed the case against his client should never have been brought, and that it was an afterthought by the HSA.

After deliberating for almost an hour, the jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict on all three charges against Mr Curran.