Sinn Féin Dungiven councillor Sean McGlinchey has called on the Health Minister Edwin Poots to carry out “an immediate and thorough investigation into the recent disclosures” by local media “into the management and running of the NI Fire and Rescue Service”.
“Since 2003 Sinn Féin have campaigned for an independent investigation into the death of fire fighter Joe McCloskey,” he said, in a statement. “The family of the Dungiven fireman who lost his life while tackling a blaze at a hotel in Limavady continue to campaign for an independent inquiry into his death. Joe McCloskey died in a blaze at the Gorteen Hotel on Halloween night in 2003 after the roof he was working on collapsed.
Colr. Mc Glinchey continued: “The ‘Justice for Joe’ campaign is still a big issue here in Dungiven and we will not rest until the truth is established and justice is delivered.”
Colr. McGlinchey concluded: “The Minister needs to immediately implement an independent review and report of the ability of the senior management to maintain and provide a vital service to the public. This investigation must be carried out by an outside agency such as the audit office and get to the core of what is a major management problem, and have the ability to restore confidence back into the Fire Service. I also hope the unions will now back a call for an investigation into the death of Joe McCloskey.”
Colr. McGlinchey’s call comes ahead of a question submitted to the Stormont Business Committee by Sinn Fein East Derry MLA, Cathal O’hOisin. He is calling for a “full independent investigation into the death of firefighter Joe McCloskey and for the establishment of a specific ombudsman for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.”
Mr. O’hOisin hopes the matter will be dealt with as soon as possible.