Company unanimously found guilty of not properly installing lift that collapsed in Killarney hotel

A Waterford company has been unanimously found guilty of not properly installing a lift that collapsed in the Plaza Hotel Killarney.

Five members of the Meehan family from Meath and Kildare, who were in Killarney for a wedding, were injured when the Daldoss Easylife lift collapsed on July 9th 2011.

Ellickson Engineering Ltd of Kilmurry, Co Waterford, which the court heard is in existence since 1969 and is still a limited company, was prosecuted for not installing the lift correctly in 2004.

Kilell Ltd, which acquired the trading name and premises of Ellickson Engineering Ltd from a receiver in 2011, were not being prosecuted.
The company that installed the lift in the Plaza Hotel Killarney, Ellickson Engineering Ltd of Kilmurry, Co Waterford was on trial for a breach of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act for installing the lift in April 2004, and failing to ensure that nothing about the way it was erected made it unsafe when in a place of work, and by failing to install a safety electrical system.

The trial began on Tuesday at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court, but the company wasn’t represented in court; a not guilty plea was entered on their behalf.

Evidence was given by 29 witnesses, including the Meehan family who were injured in the lift collapse, as well as expert engineers, and HSA inspectors.

The jury of seven men and five women took an hour to find the company guilty.

Prosecutor for the DPP Tom Rice said contact needs to be made with the Companies Registration Office to see what assets Ellickson Engineering Ltd has, in order to see what fine can be applied.

The case was adjourned until the 3rd of April to fix a date for sentencing.

Judge Tom O’Donnell commended the dignity and resilience the Meehan family displayed in overcoming their difficulties.

He thanked the jury and excused them from jury service for five years.