Calls for undercover officer inquiry to be extended to Northern Ireland

Undercover police officer Mark Kennedy.

AN environmental activist who was befriended by an undercover policeman is seeking a High Court review to force the extension of an inquiry into the activities of covert officers to cover Northern Ireland.

The Undercover Policing Inquiry has not been extended to cover the activities of officers deployed to Northern Ireland.

Judicial review proceedings have been issued by Jason Kirkpatrick, who discovered that his 'friend' Mark Kennedy was actually an undercover English policeman.

Kennedy attended an event in City Church in Belfast during his time as an undercover officer after he was deployed to infiltrate environmental groups.

Seven women have already compensated after being tricked into relationships, by five officers from two undercover units over a 25-year period.

In February Mr Kirkpatrick was granted leave to judicially review the refusal to extend the inquiry to Northern Ireland.

Amnesty International have already called for the inquiry's remit to be extended.

Darragh Mackin, of KRW Law who represents Mr Kirkpatrick said: "For too long, the issue of accountability of undercover officers operating in Northern Ireland has gone unaddressed in the ongoing inquiry in London.

"It is time that steps were urgently taken to ensure that the Undercover Policing Inquiry is extended to include Northern Ireland."

Mr Kirkpatrick said: "An inquiry that fails to take account of the full nature and extent of undercover policing is nothing short of a whitewash.

"The operations and depth of the deception by the police who spied on me was not limited to England and Wales, and so neither should the investigation".

Grainne Teggart from Amnesty said Northern Ireland "must not be left behind due to the ongoing absence of government ministers advocating in our interests."

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