Political news

Secretary of State urged to release funding for legacy inquests as she visits Derry

Secretary of State Karen Bradley on Derry Walls during her first visit to the city on Monday. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

SECRETARY of State Karen Bradley was urged to release funds for legacy inquests as protesters took to the streets during a visit to Derry yesterday.

Mrs Bradley's visit coincided with the first day of the inquest into the death of Kathleen Thompson, who was shot dead by the British army in Creggan in 1971.

Her daughter Minty Thompson said her family had "waited almost 45 years" for a fresh inquest and urged Ms Bradley not to force other families to face a similar delay.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said: "The British government also need to go ahead with the public consultation on the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House.

"They agreed to both of these during the recent political negotiations, and they cannot be allowed to use the DUP's collapsing of the process as an excuse to continue evading their responsibilities to victims and survivors."

Mrs Bradley said that the funding would be released "at the time there is an agreement" to restore power-sharing at Stormont.

Asked about the collapse of an apparent deal between the DUP and Sinn Féin last month, Mrs Bradley said it "wouldn't be fair for me to speculate" on exact details but added that there "was never a final agreement".

Meanwhile, during a visit to Thornhill College in the city, the Secretary of State told pupils that she is a fan of the hit TV comedy Derry Girls.

The all-girls school is the inspiration for the fictional college in the series.

"Derry Girls is just such a great series," said Ms Bradley, "and it's really put Derry-Londonderry on the map."

She had lunch and posed for a selfie with pupils, while she also met student Maria Laird, who plays first year pupil Tina.

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