The former owners of a McDonald’s restaurant franchise in Belfast have been fined £20,000 after a student was electrocuted on their premises.
Ciara McGinley, 22, from Strabane, County Tyrone, collapsed and died after touching live wires on a hand dryer in the toilets of the restaurant at Bradbury Place.
Diamond Restaurants Ltd, trading as McDonald’s, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of its staff and customers.
Following a case which concluded at Belfast Crown Court on Friday, they will also have to pay legal costs of £20,000.
Miss McGinley, a languages student at Queen’s University in Belfast, had been out celebrating the end of her final exams in June 1998 when the incident occurred.
Complaints about dryer
Diamond Restaurants Ltd, was facing charges brought by health and safety officers.
The court previously heard there had been three complaints about the state of the hand dryer by members of the public over the two weeks before the fatality.
One of these was made just hours before Miss McGinley’s death.
The defense solicitor for the franchise holders also told a previous hearing that they did not know the dryer was faulty and had not been informed about the complaints.
He said the case had been about a breakdown in communications which had resulted in ghastly consequences.