Sinn Féin leadership to meet relatives, Ombudsman and PSNI on UDA killings investigation
Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald and Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill will lead party delegations in a series of meetings tomorrow with the Police Ombudsman, senior members of the Chief Constable’s team and with families of the victims of the Ormeau Road Bookies attack and other killings.
Mary Lou McDonald said:
“These meetings come on the back on of last week’s shocking revelations that police failed to disclose key information to investigations by the Police Ombudsman into dozens of killings by loyalist death squads.
“ ‘Significant and sensitive’ information had not been made available to the Ombudsman’s Office while it was investigating the murders of five men by a loyalist death squad at Sean Graham’s bookies on the Ormeau Road in 1992. The information relates to undercover policing. That is appalling and unacceptable.
“That revelation has opened new lines of inquiry into the Ormeau Bookies killings and up to 30 killings by the UDA in south and west Belfast and the north west in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the importation of weapons from South Africa for loyalist gangs.
“Many see these latest revelations as further evidence that the cover-up of the role of British State forces in the conflict in Ireland is systemic. Confidence in policing is at its lowest level for many years. Action is needed.
“The delays in implementing the legacy structures agreed by the two governments and the political parties at Stormont House in 2014 must end.
“The British government must immediately provide funding to the Lord Chief Justice for legacy inquests and adequate funding to the Ombudsman’s Office to properly discharge its duties without further hindrance to its investigations.”
And Mary Lou McDonald said foremost in her thoughts are the families of the victims who face yet another potentially long delay in getting truth.
“It is most important to remember that It is the families of the victims who are being let down once again.
“We will be speaking to families of the victims of the Ormeau Road Bookies killings and other families hurt by this latest sickening blow.
“These families have been waiting 27 years for truth and justice. It was heart breaking to hear the son of one of the victims saying publicly that it was ‘demoralising’ to hear that justice had been delayed once again.
“That is wrong. Justice delayed is justice denied. And we will be meeting to update the families after our meetings with the police and the Ombudsman and discuss how Sinn Féin can best support their continued campaigns.”