Dept Rules Out Unsolved Murders Unit
- 3:25:10 PM
special detective unit in the Republic to investigate
murders during the Troubles was today ruled out by
Justice Department’s top official.
Historical Enquiries Team (HET) in the North is
probing over 3,000 outstanding cases with a £30m
budget and 84 staff.
Justice Department secretary general Sean Aylward
told the Oireachtas Justice Committee that such a
agency in the Republic would be a strain on
Garda resources, and not a good idea.
Aylward today appeared before public hearings into the
Report into bombings and shootings which killed 18
and injured dozens of others.
senior civil servant said he didn’t think it was
for a Historical Enquiries Team to be established
scale of unsolved murder cases in
the told committee members.
not persuaded that setting up a similar team in the
would bring us any closure.
would involve a significant diversion of human
and garda resources away from ongoing activities
I would have a concern about that.
insisted that gardaí carried out regular reviews of
the moment our view would be that to set up a team here
not just be the right thing to do,” he added.
Oireachtas Committee today held the second of three
of public hearings into atrocities blamed on loyalist
who acted with collusion from British
Justice for the Forgotten group representing victims
before the all-party body earlier today.
up in January, the HET is looking at more than 3,250
committed between the start of the Troubles in 1969
the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
far, at least 78 cases have been passed onto the
Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan for
because of allegations of evidence of police
detectives are focusing on all unsolved murders
are collecting and assessing existing records and
and probing further avenues which may yield new
Aylward also told the committee that his department was
to find crucial police investigation documents
since the 1970s.
secretary general also blamed the Freedom of
culture for officials not writing down
has brought about a change in the administrative
as things are not put down on paper anymore,” he
a loss to history and to public administration.
is an unfortunate side-effect of the Freedom of
member Kathleen Lynch of the Labour Party said it
frustrating for gardaí that their investigations in the
hit a brick wall when they were referred into the
got so far and as soon as they went over the Border,
stopped,” she said.
incidents being discussed by the Committee include
bombing and the
sub-committee is chaired by Fianna Fáil TD Sean Ardagh
comprises six other members of Dáil and Seánad.
for the Forgotten and the Pat Finucane Centre
that it is now possible to make links between four
in the Republic in the two-year period from May
to March 1976, which claimed the lives of 38 people.
hearings will continue at
House on October 4.
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