Family of worker killed in digger incident ask judge not to send driver to jail

The family of a man killed when a digger bucket fell on top of him after a safety pin had not been fitted to the machine asked a judge not to send the driver to prison.

Francis Callaghan died after an accident at a building site in Forqar, Milford, on January 8th, 2007.

He had been helping to lift heavy manhole covers when the bucket of a digger came loose and fell on top of him.

His co-worker and friend Dermot Boyce, 47, had previously pleaded guilty at Letterkenny Circuit Court, to failing to attach a safety pin to the digger minutes before the accident.

The court was told that only minutes before the accident Boyce had only minutes earlier wished Mr Callaghan a happy new year and chatted for a while before the accident at the site at Forqar, Milford.

Barrister Damien Crawford said Mr Boyce was a very good worker who had all the relevant documentation.He also revealed how he had asked his employers to provide him with a safety pin for months as one had not been fitted.

Mr Boyce, from Knockbrack in Kerrykeel, only received the 12 inch long pin a week or two before the accident.

Mr Crawford said his client was racked with guilt since the accident, was depressed and was now suffering panic attacks and flashbacks.

He added he had spoken to the Callaghan family and they said they did not want to see Mr Boyce go to jail as his admission had helped them to come with their loved one’s death.

Judge John O’Hagan said he did not propose to send him to jail or to fine him the maximum fine of €3 million euro for the offence.

He sentenced Mr Boyce to three months in prison, but substituting it with 150 hours community service.