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Ex-RUC men no longer working on legacy murders, court is told

By Alan Erwin

Published 02/06/2016

Raymond and Vivienne McCord at the High Court in Belfast yesterday
Raymond and Vivienne McCord at the High Court in Belfast yesterday

Former RUC officers are no longer helping to investigate controversial killings from the Troubles, it has been revealed.

Counsel for the Chief Constable disclosed that a contract under which ex-policemen and women were temporarily rehired ended 18 months ago.

He also confirmed at the High Court in Belfast yesterday that there were no plans to renew the arrangement.

The development, announced in a legal challenge brought by the parents of a loyalist murder victim, was described as a significant victory for hundreds of families involved in legacy investigations.

Vivienne and Raymond McCord's 22-year-old son Raymond Jr (below) was beaten to death and dumped in a north Belfast quarry in 1997.

His murder was at the centre of a damning report by former Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan that established evidence that rogue Special Branch officers colluded with a UVF gang responsible for up to 16 deaths.

Mr and Mrs McCord were seeking to stop retired RUC men being brought back to work on historical inquiries amid fears it may thwart efforts to establish the circumstances of killings.

But at the opening of a planned judicial review hearing, Tony McGleenan QC, for the Chief Constable, revealed that the arrangement had come to an end in December 2014.

Pressed by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, he confirmed no former RUC officers were currently involved in any investigative work.

"The PSNI have no plans to appoint any replacement contract to supply temporary workers," Mr McGleenan added.

The McCords' legal team told the court they only became aware of the development last week.

Sir Declan agreed to dismiss the case because it had been rendered academic by the police pledges.

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