Tuesday 23 January 2018

Maurice Hayes: Report into Billy Wright's murder is disappointing and leaves many crucial questions unanswered

Maurice Hayes

Maurice Hayes

IT may not be a whitewash, as Ian Paisley Jr has claimed, because Lord McLean is an learned Scottish judge, and in any case, €30m is too high a price to pay for mere whitewash.

Still, the report of the inquiry into the murder of Billy Wright in the Maze in 1997, five years in the making, is a disappointing document, likely to please no one. Not a whitewash, but a sepia wash which renders everything opaque, clouds significant events and blurs the connection between policy decisions and their effect.

In fairness, unrealistic expectations were raised by Judge Corey, who recommended an inquiry on an impossibly wide definition of collusion which would include carelessness, inaction or omission. Lord McLean was looking for direct involvement in crime and the evidence to prove it.

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