NI farmer fined £25,000 following death of labourer

A Northern Ireland farmer has been fined £25,000 following the death of a labourer in an incident in May 2018.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 3:17 pm
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 4:22 pm

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

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

Doyle, who had pleaded guilty to the offence at an earlier hearing was today (5 July) fined £25,000 at Newry Crown Court.

Speaking after sentencing HSENI Inspector Anne Cassidy said: “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 4th May 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. Sadly, Mr Larkin passed away at the scene

For more information about the legal responsibilities of employers visit: