'Daniel wasn't an oul dog, he was my child'
Published: 20 Sep 2012 13:00
Last week's inquest which determined that Daniel died from fresh water drowning brought "no closure" to a family who believe someone must know how their son ended up in the River Erne.
"I don't feel closure at all. We sat there, as parents, watching total strangers talk about our son. We thought the inquest would put an end to it but it has actually made it worse. The coroner sitting there, the boys in the box, people writing things down -- we were his mummy and daddy," said Tracey.
Dad Martin claims he was told by a police officer last week that the case was "more or less closed", contrary to what he says he was told previously.
"I was told the case was closed now unless further evidence comes up. But I thought they were still investigating; we were told before that police would still investigate it until they got to the bottom of it."
And nearly two and a half years later Tracey says they still haven't received an apology from the police for their failures in locating missing Daniel. Officers found the boy's dead body five days after she reported him missing.
"This makes me very angry towards them. They could at last try to say sorry, not that I would accept it. At the end of the day they failed; they played about with my son's life; my son was a human being; a child whose heart was beating. He wasn't an oul dog; he was a child," she said.
Martin added: "There is no point them doing a job that they cannot do".
The Police Ombudsman's report into the failings of the nine officers has never been officially released much to the annoyance of the family who have only received a summary which this newspaper published at the end of last year.
It states that nine police officers here, including Duty Inspectors and Sergeants, "failed in their duty" to take adequate steps when investigating Daniel's disappearance. All nine police officers, eight of supervisory rank, were disciplined after they failed to correctly risk assess, record, enquire and review police actions in an effort to locate missing Daniel.
Daniel who had a low-level class C drug in his system died from fresh water drowning.
"He died of drowning; it was nothing to do with drugs. It was the water that killed Danny; it wasn't the drugs. Daniel was smoking blow, but it wasn't a serious problem that it is being made out to be. I don't want that part ruining the memory of my son; he was my flesh and blood and we thought the world of him," said Tracey.
She says they will continue in their quest to seek the truth.
"There is a long way to go before we find out what happened to Danny. We will fight on until we find out the truth because I know in my heart that someone out there knows what happened and I won't rest until we get to the bottom of it, whether that takes another two and a half years," she said