Government urged to introduce asbestos health screenings for potential IRA victims

4th January 2016

New health screenings for asbestos-related illnesses should be introduced for anyone who may have been exposed to the deadly dust as a result of IRA bombings, according to a prominent victims’ campaigner.

Kenny Donaldson, of the umbrella group Innocent Victims United (IVU), has called for the government to acknowledge its duty of care to families who have lost loved ones to conditions resulting from asbestos exposure following ‘Troubles-related incidents’, newsletter.co.uk notes.

Mr Donaldson’s plea comes just weeks after two deaths were linked to asbestos following a bombing incident. Both of the victims were exposed to building wreckage at the sites of IRA explosions; Jonathan Woods was working as a detective on the scene after the Brighton Bombing in 1984, while Stuart Packard was working as a civilian security guard following the Manchester bombing in 1996.

“A family which has a main breadwinner stolen does not suffer less whether that individual is killed instantly or dies a death a number of years later because of what they experienced or were subjected to through the initial incident,” said Mr Donaldson.

“We… are asking that serious consideration be given by government to [provide] a health screening process for those who were exposed to asbestos or other deadly toxins in the aftermath of bombing incidents.”

IVU is made up of more than 20 organisations, and represents an estimated 11,000 people.