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Historical Investigations Unit: Relatives get meeting after being left in dark

By Lyra McKee

Published 21/08/2015

Justice plea: Kate Nash
Justice plea: Kate Nash

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has agreed to meet the families of victims over concerns about new legislation regarding the Historical Investigations Unit.

The meeting will be at 2pm next Wednesday, August 26, in the Maldron Tower Hotel in Londonderry.

It was organised following lobbying from victims after it emerged that the DOJ had held a series of stakeholder workshops about the legislation across the province recently. Victims say they were neither invited to the workshops nor consulted.

"They're talking about stakeholders being invited, but I'd have thought victims' families included stakeholders," said campaigner Kate Nash, whose brother William was killed during Bloody Sunday. "Yet none of my family nor any of the families I know were made aware of this."

Ms Nash said she only learned about the stakeholder meetings and the legislation a few days ago via a Facebook post from the Pat Finucane Centre.

"Why do we have to set up another body [to deal with historical crimes] when we already have one that won't cost anything extra to set up - the justice system?"

Victims campaigner Ann Travers, sister of IRA murder victim Mary Travers, said she had not been aware of the workshops nor of the legislation, even though she is a member of the Victims and Survivors Forum. "I'm upset that once again victims have been kept in the dark, and only for the media they wouldn't know until it's too late."

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