03 June 2005

Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters facing threats over body

By Michael McHugh
03 June 2005

Firefighters who failed to find a man's body while tackling a fire in Craigavon were last night subjected to threats from residents in the area.

The intimidation follows the weekend tragedy in Ardowen when Seamus Turkington (18), from Drumgor, was found dead in a derelict building.

His body was discovered by a Water Service worker last Saturday after a blaze the previous night had been dealt with by firefighters.

The Fire Service has launched an internal inquiry into why firefighters did not notice Mr Turkington's body.

The latest threats have been condemned by community representatives in the area.

"It appears that the Fire Brigade in Lurgan received some calls from people threatening their well-being which have been linked to the Fire Service's failure to discover the body," Upper Bann Assemblyman John O'Dowd said.

"I would condemn any threats on the Service, I am sure that 99.9 per cent of the community would do the same.

"These individuals are not helping the Turkington family and they are not helping the wider community to recover from this sad tragedy."

Officials from the Fire Brigade Union have approached local representatives for help in calming tensions following Mr Turkington's death.

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