The family of a self employed joiner has received an undisclosed amount in compensation after he died from an asbestos related disease.

Pat Kelly from Newry in County Down, Northern Ireland died from mesothelioma after he was exposed to asbestos while working as a subcontractor on a development for one of Northern Ireland’s largest builders Gilbert-Ash.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. It can lie dormant for up to 40 years and many sufferers die within months of diagnosis.

Pat was 54 when he died. He left behind his wife Kathleen and six children, the youngest of who was just six.

Exposed to asbestos at work

He was exposed to asbestos in 1970 while working as a subcontractor for Gilbert-Ash. The company was building Rathmore housing estate in Craigavon at the time and Pat handled asbestos lining in the boiler houses.

Following his death, his wife Kathleen instructed Thompsons McClure to pursue compensation. She found out about Thompsons after searching on the internet for information about asbestos related diseases.

She said after Pat was diagnosed with the disease he wanted to raise awareness about mesothelioma.

Dangers of asbestos

She said: “Pat knew from the moment his breathing became difficult that he had an asbestos related disease but nothing prepares you for that moment when you are told its mesothelioma. It is terrible but he was a very strong man and kept his good spirits right up until his death.

“He told everyone about his condition. He wanted people to know about the dangers of asbestos and what it can do to you. He would be pleased that we have now settled his claim.”

Oonagh McClure from Thompsons McClure added: “Mesothelioma is a devastating disease which claimed Mr Kelly at a relatively young age. We are only too pleased to have helped his family to claim compensation and to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos.”