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HomeFarming NewsFarmer fined nearly €30,000 following employee’s death
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Farmer fined nearly €30,000 following employee’s death

A judge has fined a farmer £25,000 in court for breaches of health and safety legislation following the death of an employee.

Mr William James Doyle appeared before Newry Crown Court today (Monday, July 5th, 2021).

The Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) has investigated a fatal incident which subsequently has led to the prosecution of Mr William James Doyle, Ballyward, Castlewellan.

Farmer fined in court

The case followed the death in May 2018 of Mr Toirdealbhach Larkin, known as Turlough, a 27-year-old employee of Mr Doyle.

Mr Doyle pleaded guilty to the offence at an earlier hearing today.

Speaking after sentencing, HSENI Inspector Anne Cassidy said:

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“If farmers employ staff, they have a responsibility to ensure their safety, whether full-time or casual staff.”

“In this case, the absence of proper supervision and inappropriate access to dangerous equipment resulted in the tragic incident.”


Mr Larkin had been working as a casual labourer on the farm owned by Mr Doyle since February 2018.

In May 2018, a new farm shed was being built, with steel shuttering panels being used to support the concrete walls while they set.

Early on the morning of May 4th, 2018, Mr Larkin had been working alone at the farmyard.

Later another worker arrived at the farm and discovered Mr Larkin trapped between a steel shuttering panel and an adjacent steel fence. The court heard that Mr Larkin passed away at the scene.

Farm fined after 17-year-old suffers crush injuries to foot

Last month, a farming company was fined just under £16,600 after a 17-year-old employee suffered crush injuries to his foot.

Bridlington Magistrates’ Court heard that on December 20th, 2017, a concrete panel was dropped during a lifting operation involving a telehandler vehicle on a farm in Owstwick, Yorkshire.

An investigation by the HSE found that the panel was being installed to repair a pig shed.

A telehandler was used to lower the panel, weighing over a tonne, into place. The load fell after the tines of the telehandler were withdrawn.

The panel fell onto the young worker resulting in midfoot fractures and crush injuries.

You can read more on this case.

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