As Marian Deeasy placed a flower in the pond of Dublin city’s Garden of Remembrance two violinists played The Parting Glass, the same song that played when her son Lorcan’s coffin was carried out of the church at his funeral.
Lorcan Deeasy died in January 2018 after falling from a height while working as an electrician on a job at a distribution plant in Co Mayo.
The 31-year-old Castlebar man was one of 481 people killed in workplace accidents in the last ten years, who were remembered at a ceremony to mark Workers’ Memorial Day on Thursday.
Speaking about the loss of her son, Marian said at every family occasion since his death there has been “that hole in your heart”.
“For the rest of our lives we will have that missing piece in our lives … We will never come to terms with it that our child is in a graveyard outside of Castlebar,” she said.
Growing up Lorcan was an artistic child who enjoyed making things, his mother said. “The first time Lorcan went to see the Lion King he came home and he drew all of it from memory, so he was so artistic. Design and making things, that was where Lorcan was happiest, he was a maker”, she said.
He had three brothers, Brian, Jason, and Keelan. The eldest, Brian, said from a young age Lorcan was always “coloring and fixing things” and later took up carpentry.
On the day he was fatally injured Lorcan was working as an electrician carrying out renovation work at a distribution facility at Kiltimagh. He was working by himself when he fell from a height and was in a coma for several days before he died, his brother said.
“He was found on the ground and it looked like he had either fallen off the scaffold or fallen off the ladder trying to get onto or off the scaffold … Our understanding is he hit the ground so hard that he didn’t feel anything.” he said.
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) brought prosecutions over the workplace death, with CMS Distribution, Ivan Kelly Electrics and Vincent Burke Construction, Cloonlee, Knock all fined for health and safety breaches.
At 31 Lorcan had “his whole life ahead of him” and had made no secret of wanting to marry his partner Jacqui, Brian said.
The pair had both planned to retrain, with Lorcan to move into computer programming and Jacqui to go into accountancy. Those plans all changed “in a split second” in January 2018, his mother said.
“It’s the missing of Lorcan, all the occasions whether it’s a get together by chance and he’s the one missing out of the crowd, or a family occasion, the Communions, the weddings. Every family occasion there is that hole in your heart, that missing link and that’s going to be there forever,” she said.
“Lorcan was fearless, he didn’t think anything was ever going to happen to him, but he was wrong,” his mother said.
She appealed for those working in construction, whether on a small job or a large site, to take workplace safety. “That attitude of ‘ah sure it’ll be alright’ cannot be accepted,” she said.
The memorial event was organized by the HSA and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, with the support of the Construction Federation of Ireland and business group Ibec.