Newry council admits health and safety failings over Matt Campbell Storm Ali death

Matt Campbell died during Storm Ali.

Newry, Mourne and Down District council admitted health and safety offences arising from the tragic death of an electrician who was killed during a storm. At Newry Crown Court on Tuesday a defence KC for the council asked for the two charges to be put again and there was a subsequent guilty plea. The council, with their head offices at Downshire Civic Centre in Downpatrick, entered guilty pleas to failing to make appropriate risk assessments for non-employees and employees respectively and to failing to ensure, so far as would be reasonable practicable, the health and safety of employees and non-employees on 19 September 2018.

The charges arise following the tragic death of 24-year-old electrician Matt Campbell who was working for Lagan Construction at Slieve Gullion Forest Park in Co Armagh as strong winds lashed Northern Ireland during Storm Ali in September 2018. Just the week beforehand, Matt and his fiancée Robyn Newberry had sent out 'save the date' cards in preparation for their wedding in August the following year and on the day tragedy struck, she had collected the couples’ wedding rings. Following the council’s guilty pleas Judge Gordon Kerr KC said he could not deal with the case until the trial of Lagan Construction Ltd had been concluded. Lagan Construction Ltd, with offices on the Sydenham Road in Belfast, face the same two charges and their trial is scheduled to begin in early January.

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