Lawyer says elderly Irishman among Grenfell Tower victims

June 16th, 2017 4:56 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

Tower block fire in London

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A WEST Cork lawyer, a director of the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, London, says he has confirmed a report that an Irishman was among the casualties of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Michael Kingston, from Goleen near Schull, says that a Claddagh ring, taken from one of the victims, was used to identify the elderly Irishman. 

Speaking to The Southern Star from the Hammersmith centre, Mr Kingston said he hoped there would be justice for those who perished in the inferno in Kensington.

Mr Kingston, who is a renowned maritime laywer, is himself seeking justice for the victims of the Whiddy oil disaster which took place in Bantry in 1979 – a tragedy in which his own father lost his life. Tim Kingston was one of the 50 people who died that day when an oil tanker, the Betelgeuse, exploded.

‘There are huge analogies between Whiddy and what has happened in Kensington,’ he said today. ‘Also, these people seem to have been brushed under the carpet of humanity.’

‘We must always implement best practice standards to protect life. This fire is an atrocious failure,’ he said.

He said the Irishman, believed to have been identified today, was wearing the traditional Irish ring, which signifies love, loyalty and friendship. 'The elderly Irishman who perished in the fire was only identified by his Irish Claddagh ring,' Mr Kingston told The Southern Star.

And in a letter to Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, offering his expertise, the West Cork former Maritime Lawyer of the Year said: ‘I am an authority on regulation and why ‘best practice’ and implementation of regulation is so important … and I have a duty as an Irishman to the man that just passed our door here in Hammersmith (RIP), no different to my father 38 years ago.’





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