Belfast Telegraph

Challenge to report on RUC failings blocked

By Alan Erwin

A legal challenge to a report identifying police failures after an IRA bomb killed three neighbours has been dismissed for being brought out of time.

Retired RUC officers had gone to the High Court in a bid to have the Police Ombudsman's findings quashed.

But a judge threw out their case because proceedings were not commenced within three months of the report's publication. Even though the challenge had already cleared the first stage, Mr Justice Treacy held that the delay breached a deadline for seeking a judicial review.

The legal action centred on the circumstances surrounding a booby-trap bombing in Londonderry 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, Gerard Curran (57), died months later.

Mr Dalton's family lodged a complaint with the Police Ombudsman's Office that the RUC failed in its duty to uphold their father's right to life.

Last July the Police Ombudsman said officers had information about a booby-trap but did nothing to warn residents.

The Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers Association launched a legal bid to have the findings quashed and, earlier this year, was granted leave to seek a judicial review.

But the Daltons argued that the case was brought over three months after the Ombudsman's report was published.

Mr Justice Treacy confirmed he was dismissing the case due to the delay point.

Belfast Telegraph

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