Lawyers come together to call for action on legacy cases

Families of Troubles victims, Emma Rogan, John Teggart and Lisa McNally at the launch of the Time for Truth march. Picture by Ann McManus.

A GROUP of 50 Northern Ireland lawyers have signed a letter expressing concerns at the "vacuum confronting victims and survivors seeking access to justice".

The solicitors, specialising in legacy cases, represent a range of law firms. They have said it is "unacceptable and intolerable" that the legacy mechanisms agreed in the Stormont House Agreement more than three years ago, have yet to be implemented.

They have also expressed concerns at growing calls by a number of Conservative MPs for a statute of limitation to prevent any further investigations into the actions of British soldiers while serving in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

The lawyers include Patricia Coyle, Niall Murphy, Kevin Winters, Pádraig Ó Muirigh, Patrick Fahy and Peter Madden.

They have signed a letter carried in today's Irish News saying they are committed to a "human rights compliant approach to addressing outstanding legacy issues".

"We also note the delays which many families have recently been notified of, in respect of pending reports by the Police Ombudsman, as a result of recent litigation by the Retired Police Officers Association.

"The maxim that justice delayed is justice denied could not be more appropriate in the circumstances.

"The loss suffered by many families in our recent conflict has been compounded by the failure of the justice system in the past to acknowledge the wrong done to them.

"If we are to restore confidence in the justice system and rule of law it is imperative that the reasonable expectations of the victims are implemented without any further delay."

The lawyers confirmed they will also be joining with victims' families and campaigners at a march this Sunday in Belfast.

Participants in the Time for Truth march will assemble at noon at separate two locations in the city; the McGurk's Bar memorial in north Belfast and Divis Tower in west Belfast before making its way to Belfast City Hall.

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