20 May 2022

€1,500 fine for Sligo businessman imposed at Manorhamilton District Court

€1,500 fine for Sligo businessman imposed at Manorhamilton District Court

The matter was heard before Manorhamilton District Court

Sligo businessman, Damien McPartland, Sligo Fuels, Deepwater Quay, Sligo was convicted and fined €1,500 for failing to ensure a tank-vehicle registered to the company of which he is a director, had been subjected to an annual mechanical inspection.

Mr McPartland, represented by Gerry McGovern, pleaded guilty to seven different counts relating to offences under the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by road and the use of Transportable Pressure Equipment regulations.

The offences were dated to May 9, 2018 at Cornaman, Glenfarne, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim and all centred on a single tank-vehicle carrying flammable material which was stopped at a vehicle inspection checkpoint.

The offences included failing to ensure the vehicle had been subjected to an annual mechanical inspection; failing to ensure a certificate of approval was carried in the vehicle; failing to ensure the shell (tank) of the vehicle was subject to intermediate inspection; failing to ensure the vehicle was placarded with Class 3 hazard placards and environmental hazardous substance marks; failing to ensure the vehicle carried a self standing warning signs, safety glasses and a spill kit; failing to appoint a dangerous goods officer and failing to inform the Health and Safety Authority the identity of the vehicles's dangerous goods safety advisor by the required date.

Barrister, Donal Keane, directed by State Solicitor, Noel Farrell, appeared on behalf of the prosecution in the case.

Appearing before Judge Kevin P Kilrane at Manorhamilton District Court, HSA vehicle inspector, Stephen McGarry, explained he had carried out a routine check of the vehicle on May 9, last year when he discovered a number of issues.

He said he spoke with the driver of the vehicle and asked that it be returned to the company's Manorhamilton depot.

Mr McGarry said following his inspection he also issued a number of fixed penalty notices totaling €2,400 which he noted had not been unpaid.

Speaking on behalf of his client, defending solicitor, Gerry McGovern said Mr McPartland owned four fuel distribution companies and was a significant employer.

“(Mr McPartland) runs two operations in Sligo and in many ways these are a credit to him,” said Mr McGovern.

“He is a hard working many and there is an awful lot of regulations he has to abide by and he does his utmost to comply.”

Asked by Judge Kilrane why Mr McPartland had not opted to pay the fines issued by the HSA inspector, Mr McGovern explained that “He was hoping there would be a lesser figure offered or that he would be given a chance to deal with this another way.”

He said that he had not been employed as Mr McPartland's legal advisor at the time and that he had “come into this matter very late in the day”, when the option of paying the fines was not longer there.

He asked the court to take into account Mr McPartland's character emphasising his contribution to employment in the area and stating that he “ran very well operated premises in Sligo”.

Jude Kilrane said he believed the offence relating to the failure to have the tank-vehicle mechanically inspected annually was the most serious and he convicted and fined Mr McPartland €1,500 in relation to this.

He struck out the offences of failing to ensure a certificate of approval was carried in the vehicle noting “if he didn't have one, he couldn't carry one in this vehicle”.

The remaining offences were all marked as proven and taken into consideration.

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