Kelly calls for judgement to be appealed – ‘Ombudsman’s work crucial to policing and legacy cases’
Sinn Féin's Policing and Justice Spokesperson, Gerry Kelly MLA, said today that Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire has done much to rebuild public confidence in this Office despite attempts by political unionism and the British government to resile from accountability.
And the North Belfast MLA said that yesterday’s Loughinisland judgement should be appealed as it has possibly catastrophic implications for the setting up of the investigative process of the Historic Investigations Unit.
Gerry Kelly said:
“I believe that the yesterday’s decision in the case of the Loughinisland Massacre should be appealed as it has possibly catastrophic implication for the setting up of the investigative process of the Historic Investigations Unit.
“As the Ombudsman himself and the Chief Constable have said these structures should be set up so legacy cases can de dealt with but the British government and political unionism are blocking this.
"The Office of the Police Ombudsman remains the most important accountability mechanism with a remit to hold the police to account. It is therefore crucial in building confidence in our new policing dispensation.
"In recent years Dr Michael Maguire has done much to rebuild public confidence in this Office. He has done this in the face of the British government adopting a policy of reducing resources allocated to his office and therefore frustrating the ability to deal with the backlog of cases.
"In the current environment, legacy inquests and the Office of the Police Ombudsman are the only mechanisms through which families can achieve recourse to truth and justice. Many of these families have waited over 40 years for this basic right.
"Former members of the RUC have deliberately attempted to undermine the Office in an effort to frustrate justice for these families and to continue the cover up of the murders of hundreds of citizens by the British state and in collusion with unionist paramilitary surrogates.
"The Police Ombudsman's Office has delivered disclosure and closure to several families who have been ignored and neglected by the state for a lifetime.
“Despite DUP attacks in recent days the Office of the Ombudsman and the work of Michael Maguire is crucial to current policing and indeed in legacy cases.”