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Concerns raised by relatives about HIU plans

Connla Young

THE uncle of a man shot dead by the Real IRA has called for a new unit being set up to investigate troubles related deaths to include those up to the present day.

Vincent Coyle made the call after it emerged that the planned Historical Investigation Unit (HIU) will only cover the period between January 1966 and April 1998.

Details of the HIU were revealed as part of the Stormont House Agreement last December.

Mr Coyle's nephew Kieran Doherty was shot dead by the Real IRA in 2010 on the outskirts of Derry.

He was speaking after the Irish News revealed that plans are being put in place to appoint a director of the new legacy unit which is hoped will be operational next year.

Relatives of people killed on Bloody Sunday have also voiced concerns after they were not invited to a Department of Justice stakeholder workshop in Derry last week.

Mr Coyle said the HIU should cover all conflict related deaths.

“Kieran is as much a part of the Troubles as people (killed) before the Good Friday Agreement,” he said.

“Until the present time we still see PSNI men being targeted, punishment beatings and we are still seeing bombs and men in prison, what has changed?

“This is an ongoing situation that has to be dealt with positively.”

Mr Coyle said he has contacted the Department of Justice (DoJ) to complain about the way the stakeholder meetings were held.

It is understood three were held at separate locations across the north last week.

“I believe personally there was a selection process,” he said. “I am not accusing anybody, but an awful lot of people knew nothing about these.”

Mr Coyle said he has been offered a meeting by the DoJ but believes that more stakeholder workshops should be arranged.

“I am not just looking for a meeting with me, but for the people who did not get heard from all over the north,” he said.

“There are a lot of people on both sides of the house that feel disgruntled.”

Bloody Sunday campaigner Kate Nash slammed the process last night.

Her brother William was killed along with 14 other innocent Catholics by the British army in Derry in January 1972.

She said that some relatives were not invited to the Derry event.

“It's all being done covertly,” she said. “There is a trust issue. I feel they are treating the victims with total disdain."

A spokesman for the DoJ said: “Officials have met with various groups on request and are open to further meetings to hear views as part of the ongoing policy development.”

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