Steel erector died from head injuries after fall from shed roof

THE inquest into how a 40-year-old steel erector died in a fall from a cattle shed last December was heard in Tralee before Coroner Helen Lucey.

Kevin Griffin, married with a young family, of Killoguenoveen, Caherciveen, Co Kerry, sustained fatal head injuries after falling from a height of about 16 feet, the inquest heard.

The accident occurred while he was helping to build a shed for farmer Denis Coffey at Letter Castle, Caherciveen, on December 16, 2006.

Mr Coffey said he had just finished handing up sheets for the roof to Mr Griffin when he heard the noise of a sheet falling. On coming down from the scaffold, he saw Mr Grffin lying on the ground face up.

“When I asked him if he was alright I got no response whatsoever. I could see his head was badly injured,” Mr Coffey said.

Four people were working on the shed. The accident occurred just after midday.

David O’Neill recalled how the late Mr Griffin was fixing two sheets at the high point of the roof when he heard a rattle and saw Mr Griffin falling through the roof.

When the witness came down from the roof, he saw Mr Griffin lying on the floor and thought he was dead.

However, he was still breathing and Mr O’Neill said he heard later that day Mr Griffin had died in Kerry General Hospital.

A jury returned a verdict in accordance with medical evidence presented by assistant state pathologist Dr Margot Bolster who had carried out a post-mortem examination.

She found that death was due to head and brain injuries consistent with a fall from a height.

Extending sympathy to the family of the deceased, Ms Lucey said: “This happened in a close-knit rural community where everyone knows everyone else. It’s a tragedy for all concerned.”

Inspector Martin McCarthy joined in the expressions of sympathy.

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