Inquest hears men died after wall fall

The store in Longford town where Sean Mulleady and Pat Gaffney lost their lives after an internwal wall fell on them
Two Longford men died from injuries sustained after an internal wall collapsed on them at a DIY store earlier this year, an inquest has heard.

Two Longford men died from injuries sustained after an internal wall collapsed on them at a DIY store earlier this year, an inquest has heard.

The verdict was returned by Coroner Dr Wilfred Hoover during the inquest in Mullingar, into the deaths of Drumlish native, Séan Mulleady (47) and Pat Gaffney (67) of Tarmonbarry at the Connacht Gold DIY store in Longford town on January 29 last.

In his evidence to the inquest, Garda Colm Bane said, that, following the collapse of an internal wall at the store on the date in question, a number of people had been seriously injured.

He also pointed out that subsequent to the incident, he observed the bodies of both Mr Mulleady and Mr Gaffney later that day at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Mullingar.

Pathologist, Dr Walsh then submitted to the inquest that both men sustained a number of fractures as well as bruising and cuts.

“My conclusion would be that, both men died from multiple injuries as a result of wall collapse,” she added.

Dr Hoover then said, it had been brought to his attention, that an investigation currently being carried out by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) into the matter would not conclude for two years. “As a result of this partial investigation into the deaths of both men, the families can now obtain death certificates,” the Coroner said.

“My intention is to adjourn this matter for a full year until I hear from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) - today is just a partial investigation into the men’s deaths, but at least now the families will be able to get a death certificate.”

On January 30 last the HSA launched an investigation into the incident. Staff and customers at the local DIY store were interviewed as part of the investigation into the death of the two men, after the 9m concrete block internal wall came down within a matter of seconds.

At the time, Lanesboro native Elizabeth Fallon and her son, Bernard, escaped serious injury and told local media that they had run from the counter as the wall began to fall. A third person, who was seriously injured remained in hospital for some weeks after the incident, before being discharged.