Belfast Telegraph

David Ford to probe case of mum’s 34 bones broken after death

The family of a Strabane pensioner found with 34 fractures after she died said yesterday they were “optimistic” Justice Minister David Ford would help solve the four-year mystery surrounding the injuries.

Maureen McGinley's children yesterday arrived at Stormont to put their concerns to Mr Ford after hitting a brick wall elsewhere.

Mrs McGinley (78) died in January 2007 of pneumonia. At the inquest into her death it emerged that she had sustained the fractures to her ribs after she died at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry.

The mother-of-eight was buried three months before the grim discovery was revealed to her children. Her family have campaigned tirelessly for a public inquiry to be set up into what happened.

Earlier this year Mrs McGinley's relatives said they had fresh information that a heavy object was placed on their mother's body after her death.

Speaking after the meeting with Mr Ford yesterday, her son Martin told the Telegraph: “The meeting went very well. He sat down and listened to the family and our legal team.

“We put a lot of new points out to him about time frames concerning what happened to our mother and why they only told us three and a half months down the line and after we had buried her. He said he will look into it.

“We know this did not happen on his watch. He said he will get back to us in the next few weeks. I must admit it was one of the best meetings we have had in the four years since this started. We think he is willing enough.”

In November 2009 then deputy Secretary of State Paul Goggins ruled out a public inquiry.

The previous year, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey also decided not to hold a public inquiry, claiming that an independent probe would be unlikely to shed any further light on what happened to Mrs McGinley.

The McGinley family have collected around 20,000 signatures in a petition calling for an inquiry or independent investigation.

Martin McGinley said: “Mr Ford told us there wouldn't be a full inquiry because the money wasn't there for it but he said there are other options.”

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said there would be no further comment from Mr Ford's department.

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