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Lawyer sends Whiddy letter to all TDs

January 31st, 2019 7:15 AM

By Southern Star Team

Bishop John Buckley shares a moment with Michael Kingston, son of Whiddy Disaster victim Tim, during the 40th anniversary. (Photo: Denis Connolly)

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MARITIME lawyer Michael Kingston, whose father Tim was killed in the 1979 Whiddy oil terminal disaster, has written to the Taoiseach and TDs, seeking assistance in getting justice for the 51 victims.

Following a hard-hitting speech at the 40th commemoration ceremony in Bantry recently, Mr Kingston expressed disappointment that junior minister Jim Daly was the only member of the government present.

His speech, which called for the introduction of corporate manslaughter legislation without delay, received a standing ovation in the church in Bantry.

President Michael D Higgins had also declined Mr Kingston’s invitation to attend the ceremonies, despite over 2,000 people representing the families, the Navy, gardaí, emergency services, maritime organisations and more, in attendance.

After the ceremony, Mr Kingston drew up a response which he circulated to members of the Oireachtas, the president and the Taoiseach.

‘It is time now for us to take these issues very seriously,’ he wrote. 

‘As I said in the Church, the approach is not good enough. We have to address these issues, and we can do that in an enormously positive way, by embracing the issues, and by taking the strain away from the families who have been through too much, and have had to carry this heavy burden alone.’

Referencing his threat to take proceedings in the High Court if the government failed to act, he added: ‘We do not want to have to make the trip to the Four Courts, but as I also said, if we have to go to the well of our being again, we will.’

He has yet to receive a response, apart from some formal acknowlegements of receipt of his correspondence.

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