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Doherty gives cautious welcome to Independent Review of Omagh Fire tragedy

15 January, 2008

West Tyrone Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty has given a cautious welcome to today's announcement by Health Minister Michael McGimpsey that an Independent Review is to be undertaken into the circumstances in which Arthur McElhill, Lorraine McGovern and their five children died in the blaze at Lammy Crescent in Omagh in November.

The local MP said,

"The enormity of this terrible tragedy, and the circumstances surrounding it, has left many lingering questions which require full investigation by all relevant agencies who had been involved with the Mc Elhill/McGovern family.

"So while I welcome the Independent Review announced by Michael McGimpsey today, it may fall short of what is required given that it may only have the power to consult with other relevant organisations to the case like the PSNI who fall outside the jurisdiction of the Minister of the Minister of Health.

"Following today's announcement, I held a pre-arrangement meeting with Children's Commissioner Patricia Lewsley about issues arising from this terrible tragedy and she shares the concerns that other relevant agencies are not yet carrying out a similar Independent Reviews.

"As a result of our discussions, Patricia Lewsley says that she will now be seeking and early meeting with Henry Toner QC who is leading the Independent Review on behalf of the Minister of Health to discuss its terms of reference and will also be writing to other relevant agencies to the case requesting that they undertake a similar review into the Lammy tragedy.

"All relevant agencies to the case must carry out their own reviews as a prelude to a proper inter-agency inquiry being established." ENDS

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