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Sinn Féin challenge British Government over inquest stalling

26 February, 2019 - by Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has challenged the British Government to ‘end the stalling and the pandering to the DUP’ by finally releasing funding to the Lord Chief Justice for legacy inquests.

The South Belfast MLA led a Sinn Féin delegation to meet British Government officials today following new claims that the funding is being deliberately withheld.

He commented: “We challenged the British Government on their ongoing failure to release the funds requested by the Lord Chief Justice in January 2016 to enable him to clear the backlog of 43 legacy inquests involving around 100 deaths.

“This money was originally and deliberately blocked by Arlene Foster during her time as First Minister – a move which was ruled to be unlawful by the High Court on 8 March last year.

“This unlawful action has still not been put right and that is a disgrace. The Department of Justice business case has been approved by the Department of Finance last October but it is now being reported that the British Government is putting a dead hand on the proposal.

“Many relatives suspect this is due to their confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP.

“Again, that is shameless. Families who have been waiting decades for truth and justice should not be held to ransom by the toxic pact between the DUP and the Tories.

“The British Government have international human rights obligations that require Article 2 inquests to be held. 

“They need to end the stalling and the pandering to the DUP and finally allow grieving families to get access to due process and allow the coroner to establish the circumstances around the death of their loved ones.”

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