Wednesday, April 16, 2008


In a recent letter sent by the Department for Transport, Mr Jim Fitzpatrick, the Minister for Shipping, rather than answering our specific questions, took his turn in restating the government’s belief in the results of 2004 Gaul Formal Investigation.
This time round, however, he also claimed that that there was some additional evidence in support of the RFI conclusions - evidence that has never been publicised, which, for some reason, he assumes that we have not yet seen, and which, if it is to be attached any credence, will need to defy the observable facts.
This material was not revealed during the two Gaul formal inquiries, nor did it come to the knowledge of the naval architect who, as an employee of the MCA, has carried out research into the loss of the Gaul since 2002. The DfT claim that they are in possession of this ‘elusive’ evidence, but, alas, … they are not showing it.
Having wondered for almost four years, how the RFI panel had derived their conclusions – whether they had come from esoteric knowledge or from some nebulous fluffs – we are now being told that, basically, it was on this undisclosed evidence that the RFI findings were based. Hmm! Why bother then going through such expensive formal proceedings if that was really the case?
Our curiosity stirred, we would have liked to challenge Mr Fitzpatrick to show us the proof. After all, formal investigations are meant to be public affairs (with disclosure of all relevant facts), held in the public interest.
The Minister, however, seemed unwilling, and, anxious to put a stop to any further questions, he gravely informed us about the wishes of the deceased: “the crew of the Gaul should now be left to rest in peace, undisturbed by the speculation created by their dramatic disappearance”. We must not awake the ghosts and revive the sorrows of the past.

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