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Statement of 'Justice For The Forgotten', 7 August 1999

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Text: Justice For The Forgotten

Extracts From Press Statement By

'Justice For The Forgotten' 7 August 1999

At a large meeting held on Saturday, 7th August, the families of the victims and injured, while welcoming many aspects of the Victims' Commission report, rejected the recommendation of a private inquiry into the bombings.

Any tribunal of inquiry that is established must have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and not merely seek their assistance as volunteers to the process. All evidence given to such an inquiry should be subject to being examined and cross-examined by the legal representatives of the families. For justice to be done it must also be seen to be done. For those who have been abandoned by the police and justice system in this State for twenty-five years, any inquiry which compromises the principles of openness, transparency and accountability will not have credibility. The victims and relatives require vindication - such vindication can only come from an open process in which they can fully participate. The structure of the inquiry proposed by the Victims' Commission does not have and will not have the support of the families and injured.

Two weeks ago 'Justice for the Forgotten' was informed by the European Court of Human Rights of its ruling that the complaints taken by a group of the relatives were inadmissible on the basis that the complaints had not been filed within six months from the date of the atrocities or, in any event, within six months from the date of the broadcast of the programme on Independent Television - 'Hidden Hand: The Forgotten Massacre'.

New material became available to the committee in March, 1999. This material points to the active involvement of agents of the United Kingdom in the planning and execution of the bombings. It identifies individuals who were serving members of the security forces operating with the authority of the United Kingdom in Northern Ireland.

According, the relatives will be forwarding fresh claims to the European Court of Human Rights claiming against the United Kingdom primary breaches of Article 2 of the Convention of Human Rights. Local remedies must first be exhausted. Therefore, the relatives propose to institute individual proceedings against the United Kingdom for damages, including exemplary damages for the loss of lives and for the personal injuries sustained by the wounded. This is a legally unprecedented step. However, relatives have been advised that it is a necessary step and it is intended that the cases against the United Kingdom will be prosecuted with vigour.

    For further details please contact:

    The Secretary
    Justice for the Forgotten
    PO Box 6790
    Dublin 15

    e-mail address:

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