Who was Ryan Shea?
Ryan Shea was a 12-year-old boy who lived in Glasgow, Scotland, with his father, stepmother, and two siblings. He was a pupil at St Paul’s High School in Pollok, where he was described as a “bright, bubbly, and popular” student. He enjoyed playing football, video games, and spending time with his friends and family.
How did Ryan Shea die?
Ryan Shea died on April 12, 2023, after falling through a manhole cover in a park near his home. He was playing with his friend, Jack Patterson, when he stepped on the cover, which gave way and sent him plunging into a 10-foot-deep sewer. Jack ran to get help from a nearby house, while Ryan’s stepmother, who heard his screams, also rushed to the scene. Police were called and officers found Ryan lying on his back with Mr Patterson and a neighbour beside him. His cause of death was noted as “head injury and drowning”.
How did the authorities respond to Ryan Shea’s death?
Ryan Shea’s death sparked an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found that the manhole cover was not properly secured and had been tampered with by vandals. The HSE also discovered that the firm responsible for maintaining the sewer, Scottish Water Solutions (SWS), had failed to inspect the manhole cover for more than two years, despite being aware of previous incidents of vandalism in the area. SWS pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £860,000 by the Glasgow Sheriff Court in December 2023.
What is the impact of Ryan Shea’s death?
Ryan Shea’s death left a profound impact on his family, friends, and community, who mourned the loss of a young and innocent life. His father, John Shea, said that Ryan was his “best friend” and that he missed him every day. His mother, Lisa Shea, who lives in Ireland, said that Ryan was her “angel” and that she was devastated by his death. His school held a memorial service for him and planted a tree in his honour. His friend, Jack Patterson, said that Ryan was a “great mate” and that he wished he could have saved him. Ryan Shea’s death also raised awareness of the dangers of manhole covers and the need for better safety measures and inspections. His family launched a campaign to sue SWS for negligence and to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.