Monday 11 December 2017

'He was identified by his Claddagh ring' - Lawyer says Irish man killed in Grenfell tragedy

Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

An Irishman was among those killed in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, a London based lawyer has claimed.

Michael Kingston, a director of the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, London, told Independent.ie that a Claddagh ring worn by one of the victims was used to identify the elderly Irish man.

Today police confirmed that at least 30 people were killed in the tragedy but that number is expected to rise significantly.

Mr Kingston, a solicitor who is originally from Schull in West Cork, said the disaster in London bore striking similarities to the Whiddy oil disaster which took place in Bantry in 1979.

His father, Tim Kingston, was one of 50 people killed when oil tanker 'Betelgeuse' exploded.

Mr Kingston said: "I was told that an elderly Irish gentleman was identified with the assistance of his Claddagh ring."

London-based Irish solicitor Michael T Kingston
London-based Irish solicitor Michael T Kingston

In a letter to Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, Mr Kingston said: "I have a duty as an Irishman to the man that just passed our door here in Hammersmith (RIP), no different to my father 38 years ago."

Mr Kingston said he is an an "authority" on regulation and why ‘best practice’ and implementation of regulation is so important and offered his assistance to those investigating the incident.

Mr Kingston narrowly escaped a recent lone-wolf terrorist attack in London "by seconds".

The solicitor was just yards from Westminster Bridge when terrorist Khalid Masoud drove a car into pedestrians - killing four and injuring 50.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said: "We have no confirmation that any Irish citizens are caught up in the incident but we stand ready to provide assistance."

Yesterday it was revealed that a second generation Irishman is missing after the tragedy.

Dennis Murphy (56),  told his sister Anne Marie that he was  "trapped" on the 14th floor.

A spokesman for the Murphy family urged anyone with any information about Dennis to contact them.

He told Independent.ie: "He left his brother a voicemail at 1.30am saying, 'I'm stuck in the fire, there's black smoke everywhere and they are telling us to stay in the flat.

"His last contact was with his sister Anne Marie at 2am saying he was trapped and then his phone went dead."

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