Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Bomb victim's family slam 'lies'

Dr Michael Maguire confirmed that RUC officers failed to alert people in the area about their fears of a bomb

The family of a man blown up by an IRA bomb in Londonderry which also killed two friends claim they had been victims of lies and evasion by the police investigation into the atrocity.

Eugene Dalton, 54, died when the roof and three walls collapsed in a flat where he had gone to check on the whereabouts of a neighbour.

An inquiry by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire confirmed that RUC officers failed to alert people in the area about their fears of a bomb.

Mr Dalton and Sheila Lewis, 68, were killed at the scene while Gerard Curran, 57, died seven months after being pulled from rubble of the property in Londonderry's Creggan district in August 1988.

Seventeen years after the triple deaths the Dalton family complained to the Ombudsman's office, and the report also revealed a flawed investigation by detectives involved in the hunt for the IRA killers.

Daughter Kay Devine said: "We have accepted the findings after 25 years of lies, deception and evasion. We feel vindicated that we have been listened to but there is no sense of jubilation. These findings are long overdue. Our brother Jim died two years ago and we feel saddened that he did not live to see this report."

Dr Maguire said responsibility for the deaths rested with the people who planted the bomb but he also claimed that police failed to protect the victims and the subsequent criminal investigation was inadequate and incomplete.

Dr Maguire said he found no evidence to support a suggestion that police failed to do anything in order to protect an informer.

Some senior police officers refused to assist the Ombudsman's review. It is also understood republicans in Derry failed to co-operate as well.

Ms Devine added: "Responsibility lies with the people who planted the bomb, but the RUC are culpable as well. Today our focus is on our family's case and we are just happy to know that we have been listened to. It has been a long road but it is a road that we are starting to see some kind of ending with justice for our father."

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