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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company : DID FORT DUNLOP KILL MY DAD? ; Daughter of worker who died from asbestos hunts for clues

02/09/2014 | 02:05am US/Eastern
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THE grieving daughter of a man who died after suspected asbestos exposure is desperate to trace his former colleagues in Birmingham so she can come to terms with his death.

Henry Wesley Irvine, from Belfast, worked in the Midlands during the 1950s as a forklift truck driver.

The His youngest daughter, Christine Craig, 52, is convinced he worked for Dunlop Rubber at the famous firm's Fort Dunlop factory and that he came into contact with the deadly dust while working at the plant.

to A spokeswoman for Goodyear, who took over Dunlop Rubber, said they were investigating Christine's claims.

Henry was diagnosed with asbestosis aged 79. He died last year at the age of 82.

Now Christine is desperate to trace people who might remember working with him in the late 1950s so that she can understand his death.

Christine has launched her hunt for clues after learning that her late father ran through his employment history with his lawyers several years ago.

During that meeting he told them that he used to transport asbestos on forklift trucks when he worked at the Castle Bromwich factory - now home of the Sunday Mercury - between 1951 and 1955.

Christine, who lives in Belfast, said: "All the family knew that dad worked for Dunlop Rubber. We just want to prove that he did actually work there. At the moment there is a big gap in events, and I just want to be able to move on.

"Dad died suddenly at my feet on the last day of a family weekend away.

"We were just getting ready to check out of the hotel we had been staying in when he said that he was feeling weak. The next thing I knew, he was dead.

"Dad was always the life and soul of the party - he loved his whisky. We were really, really close. He was really family- orientated man and his grandchildren absolutely idolised him.

"My father was 82 years old when he died so there might not be many of his colleagues left, but we thought it was worth a try.

"Any information might help. "We want to speak to people he worked with because they might be able to tell us more about how they did their job, what the conditions were like, if they ever got to take showers and so on."

Born on October 21, 1930, Henry was married to Margarita (nee McCullough).

He had two daughters, Christine Craig, 52, and Wendy Steritt, 54.

Christine said that he died after suffering a massive heart attack. No inquest was held, but a post mortem found he had a condition caused by pleural plaques thickening.

She added that asbestos showed up on a CT scan that Henry underwent.

Adam Kirkpatrick, from King and Gowdy Solicitors, said: "Before he passed away, Henry Irvine gave me a very detailed employment history.

"If he didn't work for Dunlop Rubber, there is nowhere else in his working life where he was likely to have come into contact with asbestos.

"People coming forward who remember working with Mr Irvine would really help us get to the bottom of this."

Kate MacNamara, spokeswoman for Goodyear, who took over Dunlop Rubber, said the company could not confirm if Henry worked there.

She said: "We are aware of the matter and are investigating further."

The family knew dad worked for Dunlop Rubber... we just want to prove that he did ? Christine Craig with late father Henry Irvine

(c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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