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Connacht Gold to open at former premises

Connacht Gold Co-Op Store. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

Connacht Gold Co-Op Store. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

A retail unit at the centre of a major investigation where two local men were tragically killed in a freak accident last month is unlikely open again, the Leader understands.

Forty-seven-year-old Sean Mulleady from Drumlish and Paddy Gaffney, Tarmonbarry, who was in his sixties, died when a nine-metre high wall collapsed on them at the Connacht Gold DIY and Garden Centre in Longford town just over four weeks ago.

The premises, located just off the town’s main Athlone Road, has remained closed ever since as health and safety authority (HSA) officials continue to carry out their own investigation into the tragedy.

This week, the agri co-operative announced it was moving back to its former location, just a few hundred yards away and beside local car dealership, McNally Motors.

Staff from the Sligo head-quartered firm transported stock and other materials over the weekend ahead of its planned re-opening on Monday.

A spokesperson for Connacht Gold declined to be drawn on whether the move was likely to become permanent.

However, one well placed source confirmed to the Leader that the company is unlikely to move back to the Athlone Road premises where the tragedy occurred.

“It doesn’t look like they (Connacht Gold) will ever go back,” said the source.

Connacht Gold only moved onto the site barely ten months ago in a leased capacity.

It’s not known what may have caused the almost 30 ft high interior wall to collapse, fatally injuring Mr Mulleady and Mr Gaffney and leading to the hospitalisation of four others.

Initial suggestions had indicated HSA investigators were looking at whether gale force winds may have possibly weakened the internal structure.

Those reports have however yet to be confirmed with the likelihood of any formal report or testimony into the matter expected to take some time.

A spokesperson for the authority said there was nothing further to add this week, pausing to reveal only that the inquiry was still “ongoing”.

 

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