FAMILIES WELCOME CORONER DECISION TO LIFE SUSPENSIONS ON TROUBLES INQUESTS

Ballymurphy relatives protest at coroner's office last year

Ballymurphy relatives protest at coroner’s office last year

VICTIMS’ campaigners have welcomed reports that Northern Ireland’s senior coroner is to lift the suspension he imposed on 21 controversial Troubles-related killings.

Relatives For Justice said on Monday: “The decision to reinstate so called legacy inquests is welcome.

“However many families have been unnecessarily distressed by the messing.”

The majority of cases involve people who were killed by the Army in the 1970s.

Mr Leckey suspended the hearings in November, citing potential national security concerns.

However, some of the families of those who died launched a legal challenge against the coroner’s suspension.

According to the investigative website, The Detail, Mr Leckey is expected to confirm on Monday that he will no longer contest the families’ challenge against the suspension.

The 21 inquests include the deaths of 11 people shot dead by the Army in west Belfast over a three-day period in Ballymurphy, west Belfast in 1971.

The cases also include the death of Belfast schoolboy, Francis Rowntree. The 11-year-old was playing with his friends in west Belfast in 1972 when he was fatally injured by a rubber bullet fired by a soldier.

Fresh inquests into the 21 killings were ordered last year by Northern Ireland’s top lawyer, Attorney General, John Larkin.

NI senior coroner Mr John Leckey

NI senior coroner Mr John Leckey

However, Mr Leckey said that he believed Mr Larkin may have exceeded his powers and may not have had the legal authority to order the new inquests.

The coroner adjourned the inquests on 15 November 2012.

Mr Leckey then referred the matter to Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, to seek clarification, as national security issues are not devolved from Westminster.

Representatives for the families said some of them had waited more than 40 years for fresh inquests into their loved one’s deaths and were very upset by the blanket suspension.

 

 

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One Response to FAMILIES WELCOME CORONER DECISION TO LIFE SUSPENSIONS ON TROUBLES INQUESTS

  1. Kenneth Okpeki says:

    From what we can see,the British Federal Bureau of Investigation should shed more light into the activities of the Ulster Defence Association(UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force(UVF), but has you know the law enacting that security organization has been blocked.My name is Kenneth Okpeki an ex-student of the London School of Management in the United Kingdom.

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