Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin: British government showing "duplicity" over legacy cases

Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire has warned of funding pressures on his office. Picture by Hugh Russell

SINN Féin have accused the British government of "duplicity" amid a row over funding for Police Ombudsman probes into Troubles-era cases.

Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire has warned that some inquiries may take up to two decades to complete due to pressure on resources.

He told the BBC's Spotlight programme he has written to 130 families this year, telling them he does not know when investigations into their loved ones' deaths will be finished.

Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said the ombudsman's comments showed that legacy bodies agreed in 2014 as part of the Stormont House Agreement must be established and properly funded.

"The Ombudsman has warned that the current system isn't fit for purpose and strongly criticised the failure to adequately investigate, among others, the activities of the Glenanne Gang which was responsible for more than 100 murders, mostly of nationalist civilians, in Armagh and Tyrone, as well as being involved in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings," he said.

He added: "Unfortunately, this is just the latest example of the ongoing efforts to cover up the British state's involvement in the conflict here and particularly their deep-seated collusion with loyalist death squads.

"That is why the British Government is still blocking the implementation of the legacy bodies agreed at Stormont House and refusing to fund outstanding conflict-related inquests despite repeated requests from the Lord Chief Justice."

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