‘It would be closure 
for us as a family’

Joe McCloskey.
Joe McCloskey.

The widow of Dungiven firefighter Joe McCloskey hopes a meeting at Stormont tomorrow will bring the closure sheand her family need to grieve the death of their loved one.

Veteran fireman Joe McCloskey fell when the roof of an outbuilding at the Gorteen Hotel in Limavady collapsed. He was rescued from the building but died in Altnagelvin Hospital.

The family have since campaigned for the name of the officer who ordered Joe onto the roof 13 years ago, however fire chiefs have consistently refused to confirm the identity of the man who gave the order.

In January 2016 the Attorney General, John Larkin, completed an independent review that identified the senior fire officer who gave the orders on the night.

“I want the Fire Service to say if they agree with the Attorney General’s findings - yes or no,” Marie told the ‘Journal’.

“We’ve been searching for 13 years to find out the truth about what happened that night.

“I think if the Fire Service had any respect for Joe, a fireman with 25 and a half years of experience, they would do the decent thing.

“It would be closure for us a family, especially for the children.”

Sinn Féin Assembly candidate Cathal Ó hOisín said: “This is now the time for some closure on this matter and I hope this meeting with Minister O‘Neill will help bring the family towards closure. The family has only ever asked for the truth about what happened on that night at the Gorteen House Hotel in Limavady.

“Everyone knows what happened, but the public acknowledgement of this would be a great help for the McCloskey family.”

SDLP Assembly candidate John Dallat said: “The Fire and Rescue Service has behaved disgracefully towards the McCloskey Family and, on this occasion, I hope that this meeting is not inspired by a forthcoming election but is a sincere effort to name and shame those involved in the death of an honourable member of the fire service.”