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Two dead after wall collapses at Irish DIY centre

Published: 31 January 2013
An internal 40 ft wall crushed two men at the Connacht Gold DIY and Garden Centre in Longford, Co. Galway on Tuesday.
The men, identified as Sean Mulleady, 47, and Paddy Gaffney, 65, perished after becoming trapped under rubble following the wall's collapse. Both were customers of the store. An additional four men, it has been reported, were injured by falling debris. Two remain in hospital in Tullamore, with one, a staff member at Connacht Gold, reported to be in a serious condition.

Two investigations are now being carried out by the Health and Saftey Authority (HSA) and gardai to discover what happened at the DIY centre, which only opened in April last year. The building, a former builders merchant, is leased by the retailer and was refurbished before it opened.

Reports suggest that gale force winds could be a probable cause for the wall's collapse. Speaking from the scene of the accident, Connacht Gold chief executive Aaron Forde expressed sympathy for the families of the two men.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time," he said. He also confirmed the centre is offering counselling to visitors and employees in the store who were affected by the accident.

"Safety is a primary concern for Connacht Gold and we are working in every way with the emergency services, the gardai and the Health and Safety Authority in establishing the cause of the accident," he added.

Funerals for Mr Gaffney and Mr Mulleady are taking place tomorrow.

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