Judge refuses to hear GP Wood ‘thumb’ case in district

May 5th, 2023 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

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A DISTRICT court judge has refused to accept jurisdiction in a prosecution against a West Cork timber processing company, after hearing that a worker lost his right thumb following a workplace accident at the site last year.

Judge John King made the ruling at Bandon District Court last Friday in a case involving the director of public prosecutions (DPP) and GP Wood Ltd of Main Street, Enniskeane.

Solicitor Clodagh Grace, representing the State’s solicitor office, said that the DPP directed that the case be tried at the district court level. 

It is alleged  that the company failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practical, the safety, health and welfare at work of their employee on March 10th last year. Ms Grace told Judge King that it was a workplace accident, where the employee lost his right thumb in a sawmill machine, after it got choked and then the blades moved again, causing the accident. 

Judge King was told that the man’s thumb was not attached afterwards. However, Judge King said that he was refusing jurisdiction for the case to be heard in the district court and the matter was adjourned to June 2nd to obtain further directions from the DPP. The company was recently fined €90,000 after pleading guilty to three charges under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act following an incident in 2019 where employee, Pat Lacey died.

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