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Patrick McGuire, PartnerCouncillor Frank McAveety and lawyers from Thompsons Solicitors met with members of the Shettleston community on Tuesday to discuss the recent asbestos scare in the area.

The public meeting saw discussion around the possibility of asbestos exposure after a derelict school building was set alight in May, scattering asbestos fibres into the air.

St Mark’s Primary School on Muiryfauld Drive, Shettleston was closed in late 2010 and lay derelict until it was torched by vandals in May this year. Now the community may be at risk after Glasgow City Council confirmed that asbestos fibres had been identified in the gutters of houses in the surrounding area.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to the development of diseases like malignant mesothelioma, a rare and untreatable form of lung cancer.

The community meeting prompted worried residents to vent their frustration about potential asbestos exposure and the perceived lack of care shown by the local authority.

“This was a disaster waiting to happen” said one of the first residents to arrive at the St. Mark’s Church Hall for the community discussion.

“The school was sitting there, empty, for ages and we knew it would be targeted by bored kids in the neighbourhood. What we didn’t know was that it was full of asbestos” the worried resident continued.

“It was a sunny day and most people in the area were outside when the fire broke out. No-one told us about toxic dust or anything, and we all carried on regardless.”

“I’m furious that me and my kids have been put in danger.”Frank McAveety, who chaired Tuesday’s meeting, said:

“It was great to have everyone under one roof at a time when concerns are running high.

“The worrying accounts of local residents who didn’t receive accurate information on the incident demonstrate a real need for the Council to be more proactive in reassuring the public.

“There are other buildings in the East End that are equally vulnerable. Lessons must be learned from this.”

“Now is the time for action, and I’m working with the people of Shettleston to get answers to key questions that arose last night.”

Patrick McGuire, partner at Thompsons Solicitors and one of the speakers at Tuesday’s meeting, comments:

“The public meeting was the first time the residents of Shettleston have come together en masse since the alarm was raised about asbestos.

“From listening to the people, it’s clear that there are real concerns over the way the Council and other official bodies have handled the situation.

“But the concerns go much deeper, and the residents are livid that disused public buildings are being left empty where there is the ever-present potential for vandals to disturb asbestos and other toxic material.

“Asbestos is the legacy of Glasgow’s industrial past, and it kills thousands of people each year.

“We now know the hazards this material poses to our health. With that information there is simply no excuse for residents to be put in danger.”

“We’ve stated our commitment to the people of Shettleston, and we’ll help them campaign for change to ensure their community – and the whole of Scotland – is never put in this situation again.”

As the leading experts in asbestos disease cases, Thompsons are running an asbestos helpline (0800 081 0054 or text “Asbestos” to 78866) which is open to anyone concerned by the presence of asbestos.



To arrange further comments from Patrick McGuire, or for more information, contact Tim Weir on 07974 262 997 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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