Catering Company Sued after Woman Dies from Salmonella

A legal action for compensation against a catering company has been filed by six people at the High court in relation to the death of a woman who consumed contaminated food at a child’s First Holy Communion  party.

The civil claims were submitted in relation to the death of Swords native 55-year-old Sandra O’Brien who  died following an illness caused by food that she ate at her grand niece’s communion party in May 2017. Sadly, Mrs O’Brien passed away just over a week after contracting a rare form of salmonella. The salmonella was caused by cold sliced turkey at the party .

In total, the court was informed, over 70 individuals became ill following similar parties throughout the same region of north Dublin over a two-day period in 2017. At the party Mrs O’Brien attended Flanreil Ltd was the catering company providing the food service. This is a service operated from O’Dwyers pub on Strand Road in Portmarnock and has registered directors Rory Reilly from Mornington in Co Meath, and Ciaran Flanagan from Stamullen in Co Meath.

Previously these company directors were convicted and issued with fines totalling €18,400. at the District Court in relation to breaches of food safety regulations. However, court records now show that papers were submitted to the High Court on March 20, 2020 with six claims for compensation against Flanreil and another catering company called RR Links Ltd. Mr Reilly and Flanagan are also listed as directors of RR Links.

Since the incident Flanreil Ltd has ceases trading but the directors have re-established it under a new name. Flanreil was They dissolved Flanreil on June 5, 2019 before the directors started another catering company, Ukrasurm, which is being operated and register to O’Dwyer’s pub – the same location that Flanreil was operated from. The new entity has been registered as as a catering and food preparation solution, restaurant, and other services.

It has also been discovered that Reilly and Flanagan are directors of two event catering companies, RR Links Ltd and CF Links Ltd. They are RR Links Ltd, which is a joint respondent in the civil claims, and CF Links Ltd, which were set up in December, 2015.

Mrs. O’Brien’s husband and son are two of the six individuals that have filed the compensation claims. As of yet a court hearing has not been scheduled. 

At the official inquest into Mrs O’Brien’s death Dublin’s Coroner’s Court was informed that she had been an energetic mother-of-one who passed away after experiencing food poisoning as a result of consuming contaminated cold cooked turkey. At the hearing her husband Michael told those present that his wife was an experienced marathon runner.

Michael O’Brien told the hearing that on May 13, 2017, they were celebrating at their grandniece’s Communion party when his wife consumed some of the cold meat that was at the party. Two days later, on May 15, she began feeling unwell and, tragically, she passed away on May 21, 2017. He described the shock he experienced following her death in what a pathologist referred to as a “very rare event”.

The cause of Mrs O’Brien’s death, Dublin Coroner’s Court was told, was acute myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, secondary to a salmonella infection. Despite there being an outbreak of 72 cases connected to various parties across north Co Dublin during a two-day period in 2017, Mrs O’Brien was the only person to die. A narrative verdict in the case was returned by the jury.



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