14/03/2019

European Ministers To Examine NI Legacy Issues- Simon Coveney

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, has announced that the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg will examine a number of cases relating to the legacy of the Troubles, including the case of Pat Finucane.

Mr Coveney relayed the Irish Government's concerns on Northern Ireland's legacy institutions to the Ministers, which it is believed "have still not been established", including a Historical Investigations Unit and an independent NI body tasked with investigating outstanding deaths connected to the Troubles.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said the current unsatisfactory system needs review: "It is unacceptable that many hundreds of families should have to experience any further delay before having access to a system that can effectively investigate the deaths of their family member, in compliance with Article 2 of the Convention. Families have been waiting now for at least two decades. This cannot continue.

"Developments in recent weeks have underlined once again the incapacity of the current system to satisfactorily progress outstanding legacy investigations. On 14 February, it was announced that significant and sensitive information relating to legacy investigations of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland was discovered by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. This development will affect the progress of Police Ombudsman reports related to up to 30 deaths, including the Shanaghan case. It is welcome that an independent review is being conducted into methods used by the PSNI to disclose information to the Police Ombudsman. Ireland looks forward to the conclusion of that review and to an update by the UK to the Committee."

The Irish Government welcomed the recent Department of Justice announcement that funding has been agreed to progress the 52 outstanding legacy inquests relating to 93 deaths.



(JG/CM)

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