Kilcoo terror victims’ legal bid over probe

Kilcoo terror victims’ legal bid over probe

5 June 2019

THE victims of a 1992 loyalist gun attack at Kilcoo’s Thierafurth Inn have launched legal action against the Police Ombudsman and Department of Justice over allegations of failures to investigate the case.

Peter McCormack (42) was shot dead during the UVF attack in November 1992. Several other people were injured.

The recent legal action has been taken on behalf of some of those who survived. The gun attack was later linked to the 1994 Loughinisland massacre.

Three years ago, a complaint was made to the Police Ombudsman by a survivor of the attack and solicitors say at the time this was accepted by the watchdog. They also say the Ombudsman’s office indicated it would begin an investigation.

Survivors now claim the continuing failure to start the investigation by the ombudsman is in breach of its statutory duty and legal obligations.

They also highlight “the ongoing failure of the Department of Justice” to provide sufficient funding to the Ombudsman to “permit it to carry out an investigation into the attack”.

Solicitor Gavin Booth, of Phoenix Law, said “the ongoing failure of the Department of Justice to put in place adequate resources to enable the ombudsman to carry out an investigation into the applicants complaint in a timely fashion is irrational.”

He continued: “This is because it is irrational to have a statutory scheme requiring the ombudsman to investigate complaints ‘without undue delay’ while failing to provide the ombudsman with the resources it need to investigate such complaints,” he said.

A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman said: “We can confirm that judicial review proceedings have been initiated.

“We will provide the court with whatever information it requires in advance of the leave hearing.”

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”