Audit, Inspection and Safety

19.06.18

Family of Glasgow boy killed in cemetery awarded compensation by city council

Glasgow City Council will pay compensation to the family of a boy who died after a headstone fell on him.

Ciaran Williamson was aged 8 when he was killed while playing with friends in Craigton Cemetery on Berrysknowe Road on 26 May 2015.

A fatal accident inquiry in January into the death of Ciaran found that the accident may have been avoided if certain safety precautions had been taken. Glasgow City Council settled the claim out of court for a six-figure sum and will be divided amongst family members.

Ciaran had been out with four other boys in the cemetery, playing a game involving the climbing of a seven-foot high monument, pushing off from the top to a perimeter wall, and grabbing the branch of a nearby tree to swing to the ground.

The memorial piece had become unstable, however, and Ciaran had been standing at the base of the two-and-a-half-ton structure when it toppled.

Sheriff Linda Ruxton ruled the boy’s death could have been prevented had the memorial been routinely inspected, and had the hole in the wall of which the boys had entered to reach the memorial been repaired and covered over.

In a statement via their lawyers, Digby Brown Solicitors, Ciaran’s family said: “We are glad the final legal hurdle is over. The last three years have been devastating for us – especially during the FAI and having to relive everything.

 “However, we’re grateful the civil action could be settled so quickly as it means we can start to piece ourselves back together. We’d like to say thank you to our friends, family, the local community and the media who have supported us emotionally and practically since Ciaran passed away.”

Sheriff Ruxton added: “I would like to express my deepest condolences to Ciaran’s family and in particular to his mother, Ms Stephanie Griffin, his father, Mr Ryan Williamson and his step-father, Mr Thomas McGhee.

“It was a harrowing experience for them to listen to parts of the evidence in this Inquiry and they did so with great fortitude and dignity. These were profoundly sad proceedings inquiring into the tragic death of Ciaran Williamson, a little boy of eight whose whole life lay before him.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council told the BBC: "We always aim to deal with claims as quickly and sensitively as possible.

"It wouldn't be appropriate to comment further at this time."

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Image credit: PA Images

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