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Legacy inquiries must be fully resourced - Sheehan

27 January, 2016 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has said the Police Ombudsman must be fully resourced to ensure the legacy of the past is dealt with.

 Mr Sheehan said,

 “I am concerned by comments last night by the PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton that he may not have the resources to deal with the legacy of the past.

 “It is important that all families have access to maximum disclosure so it is important that investigations and inquests are resourced.

  “There is an onus on the British government to address the legacy of the past by ensuring money is available to complete any requests from families bereaved through the conflict including the funding of the Police Ombudsman's office.

 “The British Government must also end their blanket veto of ‘national’ security on releasing files to the families of victims about the activities of British state forces, agents and their proxies in unionist death squads. 

 “Sinn Féin has brought forward two proposals that would allow maximum disclosure based on three basic principles including the right to life.

 “We propose the creation of an independent international panel of three judges to adjudicate on disputes around disclosure or to give full discretionary powers similar to those of the Police Ombudsman to the director of the Historic Inquiry Unit about the release of information. 

 “The Irish government too has a responsibility as co-guarantors of the Good Friday and subsequent agreements to challenge the British government over its continual failures to live up to its commitments on dealing with the past.” 

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