Roofing company admits two health and safety offences arising from Primark fire

The fire at Primark in Belfast in August 2018.

A company based in Co Waterford has admitted two health and safety offences arising from the August 2018 Primark fire in Belfast.

A representative from AF Roofing attended Belfast Crown Court on Thursday where he entered guilty pleas to the two charges.

After entering the dock, the company representative was charged with being an employer and failing to ensure the health and safety of employees on 28 August, 2018.

When the charge was put to him, he replied: "Yes, guilty."

A second offence of being an employer and failing to ensure non-employees were exposed to risks to their health and safety was also levelled at the company.

When a court clerk asked him "on behalf of AF Roofing, do you plead guilty or not guilty to that count?", he replied: "Guilty."

Representatives for two other companies - Bennett Management Contractors (GB) Ltd and Boyd Project Services Ltd - have already appeared in court and entered not guilty pleas to similar offences.

All the charges arise from a blaze which broke out at the Primark store on Belfast's Royal Avenue in August 2018 whilst the premises was undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment and extension.

The refurbishment and redevelopment of historic building took four years to complete and Primark re-opened its doors to shoppers at the start of this month.

Following today's pleas on behalf of AF Roofing, which is based at Knocknastooka in the Grange area of Co Waterford, Judge Donna McColgan KC noted that two other companies have denied the charges.

She said she would review the case on 20 January, 2023 and confirmed a trial has been scheduled to take place next May.

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