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Walker inquest

An Inquest has concluded that a 71 year old Ramsey man died from respiratory failure as a result of industrial disease.

Robert Donald Walker, who died on February 26th, was the General Foreman at Ramsey Commissioners for more than three decades.

The court heard Mr Walker died as a result of exposure to asbestos, causing asbestosos, which had probably lain dormant for more than twenty years during his time working in Ramsey Shipyard in the 1960s.

The Inquest was told that Mr Walker had a varied and successful career, including a time as a burner/welder at the shipyard where it was alleged he came into contact with asbestos.

In May last year a tumour was discovered in his right lung and he died a few months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma

Coroner Michael Moyle said the dangers of asbestos had become much better known in recent years, and that when it was branded a "wonder material" no-one fully appreciated the dangers.

He said workers were often in conditions where asbestos was common and not only were proper precautions not used due to a lack of knowledge at the time, but certain fibres could be inhaled and stay in an individual's lungs for many years before causing disease.

There was no cure for mesothelioma and death normally occurred within 12 months of diagnosis.

He offered his sincere condolences to Mr Walker's widow and their four children.

Mr Walker's family are considering civil proceedings.

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