‘I’m sick to my stomach’ over gas leak death

Richard Davis

A plumber on trial for manslaughter arising out of a gas leak at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale told gardaí after the deaths: "I am sick to my stomach that it happened.

I have to live with it for the rest of my life.”

Det Insp Joe Moore gave evidence on the fifth day of Richard Davis’s trial and went through the memo of interview with the accused shortly after the fatal incident in 2011.

Mr Davis said he was shocked and sick to his stomach about the fact that a woman had died, that her sister had become seriously ill, and that a number of other guests at the hotel had become sick due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Richard Davis, aged 44, of Killanully, Ballygarvan, Co Cork, is on trial for the manslaughter of Miriam Reidy and two breaches of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

His company, Davis Heating and Plumbing Contractors of Marina Commercial Park in Cork, is charged with two similar breaches of the Safety Act relating to the conversion of a gas boiler at the Trident on Jan 4, 2011. All charges are denied.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Brendan Grehan, said a prosecution expert would say that, once a chip was installed in a natural gas boiler to run it on liquid petroleum gas, further adjustments would have to be made to the boiler. Mr David was questioned about this in the garda interview.

“My only crime is that I work too hard and take people at their word,” he told gardaí in 2011. “I was told it was an easy chip conversion, that is why I went ahead and converted.

“I was under instruction from the man who supplied the boiler; all I needed to do was change the chip. I felt quite competent to do that. Change the chip was all I was told. If there was any more I wouldn’t have touched it.

“I did not think it was a conversion. I thought it was a refit back to factory settings. I accept now I got the wrong information from my factory supplier. I am extremely sorry for the hurt I caused to everyone involved. I done my job to the best of my ability.”


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