05 Oct 2022

Widow of Dungiven firefighter rejects apology over his death

The wife of a Dungiven firefighter has rejected an unreserved apology from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) over his death as he helped tackle a blaze at a Limavady hotel 15 years ago, Joe McCloskey died hours after falling through a roof at the Gorteen Hotel into 2003 into a blazing store room. NIFRS accepted liability for the 50-year-old’s death in 2007. And, in a statement the fire and rescue service said it had offered Mr McCloskey’s family on May 11 this year and offered an “unreserved apology” over the tragedy. The statement also said: “The failings were identified through a recent review by the Department of Health. “NIFRS accepted the findings of the review and has revised and amended policies in line with review recommendations.” However, speaking to BBC Radio Foyle, Joe McCloskey’s wife Marie said she did not accept the apology from her late husband’s former employer as it didn't go far enough. “It’s very hard because actions speak louder than words. And, personally speaking for the children and grandchildren, when they read this letter further down the line they will realise that I tried to do everything I possibly could do to try and find out what happened that night to Joe and why he lost his life. “But, personally speaking foe me the letter doesn’t mean anything because all we ever wanted to know is what happened that night. No family should ever have to fight for 15 years to find out what happened to their loved one. “He was ordered onto the roof that night, he was carrying out an order he was given and all we wanted know after we got their statements was who gave the order and we are still asking and we want the fire service to come out and answer.”

To continue reading this article,
please subscribe and support local journalism!

Subscribing will allow you access to all of our premium content and archived articles.


To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.