55 million released to fund legacy inquests

Posted By: March 01, 2019

Connla Young. Irish News. Belfast. Friday, March 1, 2019

RELATIVES of Troubles victim stuck in an inquest logjam have welcomed the release of £55m to fund more than 50 legacy inquests.

The Department of Justice announced yesterday that the cash will be made available to hold inquests into the deaths of 93 people killed over four decades.

Many of the cases center on killings carried out by the members of the security forces and include allegations of shoot-to-kill and collusion.

In 2016 Lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan drew up a plan to deal with outstanding inquests, including a proposal to set up a Legacy Inquest Unit.

However, the funding was blocked at the time by DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Last year the High Court ruled that decision was flawed and unlawful.

The Irish News reported on Tuesday that the Department of Finance approved a business case for legacy inquest funding last October.

The judicial review was taken by Brigid Hughes, whose civilian husband Anthony was shot dead by the SAS at Loughgall, in Co Armagh, in May 1987.

Eight IRA men were also killed during the ambush.

Mrs. Hughes last night welcomed the announcement.

“We are delighted after nearly a year of our judgment, that the money has eventually been released,” she said.

“It has been a deeply frustrating process for us in which we have been forced to take court proceedings, make representations to the Committee of Ministers and to subsequently initiate contempt of court proceedings, to get to this point.

“We now look forward to the hearing of our inquest so that we can finally get to the truth of the events at Loughgall that day.”