THE founder of Hardwicke-based Markey Construction company died as a result of exposure to asbestos early in his building career, a coroner ruled last Monday.

Hugh Brendan Markey, started work as a self employed building contractor in 1963. His business grew into Markey Construction, now run by his two sons Paul and Tony. Managing director Paul Markey, attended today’s inquest at which county coroner Katy Skerrett concluded he died of industrial disease.

The inquest heard that Mr Markey, of Watery Lane, Upton St Leonards, had seen a thoracic surgeon in April 2010 suffering shortness of breath and a cough. He later suffered a stroke.

A report from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital said Mr Markey was admitted on November 10 last year with increased shortness of breath and sadly passed away two days later.

“He was noted to be a 78 year old man with a long history of lung fibrosis,” said the statement.

The coroner said “It is more likely than not that asbestos exposure was the significant factor causing him to pass.”