RESPONSE TO POLICE OMBUDSMAN STATEMENT
| 14 February 2019
The PFC provides Advocacy Support to a number of families affected by the revelation that ‘significant, sensitive information’ was not provided by the PSNI to the Police Ombudsman investigation into the murders of their loved ones.
Of particular relevance to the PFC is the PONI investigation into the activities of Loyalist paramilitaries in the North West between 1988 and 1994.
Speaking on behalf of the PFC Paul O’Connor said,
“We have been updating families today (Wednesday) about this development and its possible implications the most obvious of which is that PONI reports that were due to be delivered in the near future will now be delayed.
Clearly the revelation that the contents of a PSNI computer system containing ‘significant and sensitive information’ was not made available to PONI, as was legally required, is disturbing for many families. As Dr Maguire has said, Information that the PSNI had claimed did not exist has now been found following the pro-active efforts of PONI investigators.
Whilst family members are very disappointed at the further delays this will involve it is also clear that their first priority is to have a rigorous and independent investigation with no stone unturned. “
Amanda Fullerton, whose father Councillor Eddie Fullerton was murdered in his Buncrana home in 1991, said today,
“This is really quite shocking but I have mixed emotions. Hopefully this discovery will lead to the full truth emerging about the circumstances of the loyalist murder of my father and many others. In light of this development I would call on the Taoiseach and the government to treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves given that my father was an elected official murdered in Co Donegal. We are requesting an urgent meeting with the Taoiseach to discuss the implications of this. ’
Paul O’Connor added,
“Other families have added their support to the call by Dr Maguire for an independent review into the disclosure of information, as legally required, to statutory bodies such as PONI, the Coronial Service and any future legacy institutions by the PSNI. This only illustrates why independent investigative mechanisms are absolutely essential.
Finally we should point out that this development does not impact, to the best of our knowledge, on the Glenanne series of investigations. Should we become aware that this impacts on other families we will contact them.