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Plumber says he never did a safety check on hotel boiler

A PLUMBER who denies the manslaughter of a young woman in a hotel bedroom told gardai he conducted a computerised carbon monoxide safety test after converting a boiler but later admitted no such test took place.

The revelation came as Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard Richard Davis (46) holds no formal qualifications with the Registered Gas Installers of Ireland (RGII) and had his provisional registration of the body terminated in January 2010.

Davis denies the manslaughter of Miriam Reidy (35) in the Trident Hotel, Kinsale on January 9, 2011.

The State claimed he had shown gross negligence in the conversion of a new boiler from natural gas to liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in the hotel on January 4.

Davis of Killanully, Ballygarvan, Co Cork denies all the charges against him.

The trial has heard that Ms Reidy died from acute carbon monoxide poisoning in Room 113 as she attended her cousin's hen party.

Judge Sean O'Donnabhain heard that Davis informed Gardai on January 10, 2011, just 24 hours after Ms Reidy's death, that he conducted the carbon monoxide safety test on the converted boiler in the Trident Hotel.

statement

"I eventually got the two electrical chips…and I brought them to the boiler room at the Trident on January 4/5. I put the chip in one of the new boilers and did an (carbon monoxide) analysis with the Kane analyser. Everything was OK and I fired up the boiler," Davis told detectives in a statement.

A Kane analyser is a hand-held computerised safety device, which is used to detect carbon monoxide emissions.

However, defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC yesterday clarified to the trial that such a safety test did not, in fact, ever take place on January 4/5.

"Any suggestion that the Kane analyser was used on January 4/5 is incorrect - is untrue," Mr O'Higgins said.

The trial heard UK heating expert, Richard Siddens, was brought in to examine the Trident boiler after Ms Reidy's death. He found that the boiler was still at its original factory settings.

The trial heard that Davis held no formal qualification from the industry body, RGII.

As a director of Davis Heating and Plumbing Contractors Ltd, the defendant also faces two charges brought under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (2005). The case will involve up to 100 witnesses and could last four weeks.

hnews@herald.ie


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