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British must end families’ 32-year wait for inquests - Kelly

26 June, 2014 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said tonight the British government must end its policy of obstructing inquests into the state murders of six men shot dead in Co Armagh in 1982.

 The North Belfast MLA was speaking after Coroner John Leckey revealed he had written to British Secretary of State Theresa Villers three weeks ago about further delays in the inquests. Theresa Villiers has so far failed to respond.

Gerry Kelly said:

 “The families of the six unarmed men executed by state forces in a series of shootings in Co Armagh in November and December 1982 have been denied even the most basic inquiry into the killings of their loved ones.

 “The judicial system, the police and the British government have treated these families with contempt.

 “There is nowhere else in Europe where families have been forced to wait more than 30 years on an inquest.

 “Theresa Villiers and her colleagues continue to ignore European rulings on inquests.

 “They are piling insult on top of injury to the families of Gervaise McKerr, Eugene Toman, Sean Burns, Michael Tighe, Seamus Grew and Roddy Carroll.

 “If further evidence were needed, Theresa Villiers has demonstrated once again that not everyone is being treated equally and fairly in the eyes of the law.

 “The cover-ups need to stop now and the information requested by the coroner should be provided immediately.”  ENDS/CRÍOCH

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