Doug Mulligan and his daughter Kay Ketley ? 38 years have not erased the memory of a devastating electrocution on their Bucca f
Doug Mulligan and his daughter Kay Ketley ? 38 years have not erased the memory of a devastating electrocution on their Bucca f

Bad memories jolted



DOUG Mulligan lost his 20-year-old son, Dennis, to 11,000 volts of electricity on February 18, 1967.

It was 38 years ago but Mr Mulligan, now 89, remembers it as if it was yesterday.

But the tragic accident on the Mulligan's Central Bucca farm was not a lightning strike, it was the result of a broken powerline which electrocuted the young man as he was on his way to the neighbouring farm and caused a district-wide 'brownout'.

On Saturday, Lowanna grazier Allan Moran said he was thankful no one was killed when a fallen powerline killed his heifer.

Mr Mulligan believes it was possible a switch failure within the Northern Rivers County Council power distribution grid could have caused his son's death and yesterday he joined Mr Moran in criticising electricity authorities for using money for advertising rather than spending more on powerline maintenance.

Dennis Mulligan's body was found by a Northern Rivers County Council powerline repair crew near a power pole carrying 11,000-volt powerlines. A storm had blown a powerline down and it landed on a fence.

Around the 'live' fence, the grass, which was wet from a storm, was burned black for more than three metres.

But Dennis Mulligan never reached the fence. The Mulligans have never been able to find out exactly what happened. The line repair crew had mended the powerline by the time police arrived to investigate.

Incredibly four children, who normally crossed the fence to school, for once were taken to school by their father in his truck.



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