Man’s death sees call for a safety audit of harbour

by Sylvia Pownall
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THERE have been calls for a safety audit of Dun Laoghaire Harbour following the death of a man who drove off the Coal Pier last week.
Senator Victor Boyhan (Ind), a former director of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, has called on Transport Minister Shane Ross to take action in the wake of the incident.
A car and its occupant went off the edge of the quay and into the water in the early hours of Thursday, June 1, in what is being described as a personal tragedy.
Senator Boyhan, who was a member of the Harbour Board for 10 years, said: “Barriers that had been in place to stop cars driving off the pier need to be fully operational at all times.
“This tragedy happened at approximately 5.30am and questions have to be asked, was the barrier down at that time?
“On inspection of some harbour slipways this weekend, it was clear that some had no safety barrier restrictions in place – that has to change.
“Lessons need to be learned from this incident and the terrible tragedy in Buncrana last year when five members of the same family drowned after a car sank within 10 minutes of it sliding down the slipway.
“There are slipways similar to Buncrana in Dun Laoghaire, and they need to have restricted access barriers in place in the interest of public safety.”
Senator Boyhan thanked gardai, the coast guard, the RNLI and Dun Laoghaire Harbour personnel who undertook large-scale rescue operation to recover the man’s body from the sea.
He said: “My thoughts are with the man’s family and friends at this tragic and sad time.
“I am calling for a total safety audit and review of the vehicular access points and slipways to the water within the harbour – the audit may identify some points where it may be necessary on public health and safety grounds to erect bollards to prevent an incident like this from reoccurring again.
“Access to all slipways must have bollards or gateways in place when not in official use.”

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