BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Anger over 'collusion' reports

Anger over 'collusion' reports

Relatives of people murdered in controversial circumstances have accused the British and Irish Governments of breaking promises.
The families say they are angry at the delay of the publication of retired Canadian judge Peter Cory's reports into the deaths, which were due earlier this week.

Judge Cory has been examining allegations of collusion surrounding some of the most controversial killings of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The British Government is still considering the legal and security implications of publishing the judge's findings.

Rosemary Nelson's brother Eunan Magee said the British Government had reneged on their promises.

"We sat back with a 'wait and see' approach, and once again, what are we left with?" he said.

Diane Hamill said she was upset to find out about Judge Cory's findings through media reports.

"We haven't been contacted by the Northern Ireland Office since before the report was given to them by Judge Cory," she said.

"Yet again the feelings of my family have been totally disrespected and ignored, and we have been treated very disrespectfully by the Northern Ireland Office."

Jane Winter, of British-Irish Human Rights Watch, a group which advised four of the families, said they were angry at being kept in the dark.

"All of them have had a very long, hard battle to get justice for their loved ones," (s)he said. **see article for link to background material.

"Just as it would be for anyone else, they have a sense of 'so near and yet so far'."

Secretary of State Paul Murphy said he could not comment until the reports were made public.

It is understood that the families of murdered senior RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan are anxious to know the contents of their respective reports, which are being considered by the Irish Republic's attorney general.


It is understood that Judge Cory has recommended public inquiries into four murders: those of the solicitors Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson, the loyalist leader Billy Wright and the Portadown man Robert Hamill.

Sources also told the BBC earlier this week that Judge Cory has asked the Irish Government to hold an inquiry into the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan.

The Irish Government has also received two reports from Judge Cory into the murders on the border of the two senior RUC officers and of Lord Justice Gibson and his wife.

Early speculation suggested that the judge had asked for two inquiries in the Irish Republic, but sources now say he has recommended one and this is understood to be into the murders of the two RUC officers.

Judge Cory was appointed by London and Dublin following the Weston Park political negotiations in 2001.

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