A legal challenge to a report identifying police failures around an IRA bomb that killed three neighbours should be thrown out for being out of time, the High Court heard yesterday.
Lawyers for one of the victims claimed the retired RUC officers' case cannot continue because proceedings were issued beyond a three-month deadline.
Even though the application for judicial review has already cleared the first stage a judge has now asked for an explanation on the delay. The legal action centres on a Police Ombudsman report into a booby-trap bombing in Derry in August 1988.
Eugene Dalton (54) and Sheila Lewis (68) were killed in the explosion at a house in the city's Creggan area. A third victim, 57-year-old Gerard Curran, died months later.
Nearly two decades later members of Mr Dalton's family lodged a complaint with the Police Ombudsman's Office that the RUC had been negligent and failed in its duty to uphold their father's right to life under the European Convention on Human Rights.
In July last year the Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, published his findings that police officers had information about an IRA booby-trap bomb but did nothing to warn residents. The report provoked fury within the The Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers Association.
It launched a legal bid to have the findings quashed and, earlier this year, was granted leave to seek a judicial review.
But in court yesterday senior counsel for the Dalton family argued that the case must be dismissed because it was brought more than three months after the report was published.
The case was adjourned.