Friday 20 April 2018

Susan McKay: Call to halt Troubles inquiries is an insult to families of dead

Members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters on the Shankill Road, Belfast, as Ulster Defence Association leaders decommissioned all weapons under its control, in January 2010. Paul Faith/PA
Members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters on the Shankill Road, Belfast, as Ulster Defence Association leaders decommissioned all weapons under its control, in January 2010. Paul Faith/PA

THE North's attorney general is a spectacularly undiplomatic individual. When John Larkin steps out of his office he displays all the symptoms of something that might be called 'Winter Outburst Bug'. This time last year he suddenly delivered himself of a drastically inappropriate offer to lead an investigation into the legality of the Marie Stopes Clinic in Belfast.

Now, in the middle of the Haass process, he has lobbed into the simmering Northern pot the proposal to call a halt to all prosecutions, inquests and other inquiries relating to the period before Good Friday 1998.

Needless to say, the pot has boiled over. Larkin has caused distress and provoked anger among the families of victims of the conflict, many of whom have dedicated the greater part of their lives to attempting to get a measure of justice for someone they loved.

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