'Deficiencies' in death inquiries

Pat Finucane was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries

The government must improve the way it investigates deaths caused by police and security forces, the NI Human Rights Commission has urged.

Its call follows a report by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers into how the government responded to six cases.

The committee said action must be taken to address deficiencies in the government's investigation process.

The 1989 death of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane was one of the cases examined.

The Human Rights Commission is a statutory body which was established under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Its role is to ensure that the human rights of everyone in Northern Ireland are protected in law, policy and practice.


Commission chief executive Paddy Sloan said they were pleased with the committee's findings.

"Urgent steps must be taken to address the weaknesses found by the European Court in the investigation of these deaths and to ensure that this issue does not come before the court again," she said.

"The government should comply fully with the judgments as soon as possible."

The five other cases under investigation were the killings of Pearse Jordan in November 1992, Jonathan McKerr in November 1982, Vincent Kelly and others in May 1987, Patrick Shanaghan in December 1990 and Dermot McShane in July 1996.

It also examined circumstances which gave rise to allegations of collusion between the security forces and the loyalist paramilitaries who committed the crimes.

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