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Policeman's widow asks his old colleagues for help

The widow of a former Harrogate policeman is asking his old colleagues to help with information about the use of asbestos where he worked in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Asbestos fibre

8 August 2018

Michael Holohan died in February this year from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. He was 73 when he died.
 
Prior to joining the police Michael had worked for Post Office Savings in offices known as ‘The Huts’ in Harrogate, where it is believed asbestos was used in the fabric of the Post Office Savings buildings where Michael worked from 1960 to 1970.
 
Michael joined the police in 1970 and was a police officer for twenty-seven years until he retired in 1997.
 
He worked out of two locations, Harrogate and Knaresborough, and it is believed he could have also been exposed to asbestos in either of these places according to colleagues and his wife Elaine.

Said Elaine, “Michael worked out of the Harrogate huts for the Post Office and the Harrogate Police Station on North Park Road where we believe he could have been exposed to asbestos where it was used in the fabric of the buildings as well as insulation on boilers and pipework.
 
“He also worked out of Knaresborough Police Station, which also had building work done there, for four years from 1980 to 1984 before returning to Harrogate.

“He was diagnosed with mesothelioma towards the end of 2017. His deterioration was so rapid and he went from being a fit and healthy man who loved gardening, walking and regularly playing golf, to someone who could hardly walk a few yards without becoming breathless. It was heart-breaking to watch and all because he unknowingly inhaled deadly asbestos dust.”

Elaine is now seeking legal advice from law firm Leigh Day and specialist industrial disease lawyer Helen Ashton said, “We would very much like to speak to anyone who worked with Michael Holohan at the Harrogate Huts, or Harrogate or Knaresborough Police Stations, or people who worked on the buildings there, as they may have important information about the use of asbestos as an insulation material in the buildings and its use in any buildings and construction undertaken there.”
 
All information will be treated in the strictest confidence. If you have any information that might assist in the first instance telephone 0161 393 7616 and ask to speak to Natasha Phelps, alternatively please email Helen Ashton at hashton@leighday.co.uk.
 
Said Elaine Holohan in conclusion, “I really would appreciate my husband’s old colleagues coming forward if they think they have any information at all that might help. Our family has been devastated by Michael’s death, which could and should have been prevented if the dangers of asbestos had been pointed out and guarded against. My two sons Steven and Andrew were very close to their Dad and Michael was a loving Grandad to their three children, who miss him terribly.”

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