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Irish Ferries face trial after man crushed to death at Dublin Port

Irish Ferries face trial after man crushed to death at Dublin Port

IRISH Ferries is to face trial after a 46-year-old man was crushed to death while working at a cargo terminal in Dublin Port in 2011.

Stephen Bayfield of Balrothery in Co Dublin, and originally from St Ives in Cornwall, had been working at the Dublin Port Irish Ferries cargo terminal on October 28, 2011, when he received severe musculoskeletal and multi-organ injuries

A coroner's inquest had heard in 2012 that he was identified from a mobile phone and watch given to him by his wife.

Following an investigation by the Health & Safety Authority (HSA), Irish Ferries Ltd, trading as Dublin Ferryport Terminals, is now facing criminal proceedings.

The DPP has directed that the company, which had its first hearing yesterday (MON) at Dublin District Court, must stand trial on charges under the 2005 Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act.

It is accused of failing to ensure as practicable as possible that people carrying out work, but who were not employees of the company, were not exposed to risks on October 28, 2011. The second charge also states that the shipping company failed to provide designated walkways in the cargo handling area “as a consequence of which Stephen Bayfield suffered injury and died”.

The offences, on conviction, can result in a fine of up to €3m being imposed; there has been no indication yet as to how the company will plead.

A solicitor for the DPP explained to Judge John O'Neill that this is a health and safety related prosecution. The DPP had directed “trial on indictment” meaning the trial is to be heard at the higher level, in the circuit court.

Judge O'Neill was told that this was the first day for the case to be listed in court and the book of evidence was ready to be handed over.

HSA Inspector Padraic McMahon served it on Irish Ferries Ltd representative Paul Sullivan.

The court heard the DPP consented to the company being returned for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on the two charges. Judge O'Neill said the case will be listed on April 17 next in the Criminal Courts of Justice.

He also informed Mr Sullivan and counsel for the company that if Irish Ferries intended to use an alibi as part of their defence, they must notify the prosecution of the names and addresses within 14 days. Judge O'Neill was also told the State has provided disclosure of evidence to the defendant company.