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We do hope to speed up the legacy inquests

YOUR Readers' Editor asked what I might have to say about delays in legacy inquests (June 20).

I appreciate the frustration caused by the time taken to progress inquests. I remain supportive of the work of coroners, various agencies and next of kin. I am committed to ensuring that legacy inquests are delivered in an efficient way.

The Department of Justice has submitted an action plan to Strasbourg to deliver this.

Over the last two months, there has been an average of four or five preliminary hearings each week.

This does not suggest state organisations attempting to delay: it shows coroners, the PSNI, the Police Ombudsman and the MoD working to progress these complex, sensitive issues.

The system, as structured and resourced, isn't able to progress legacy inquests as quickly as I'd wish and as families deserve.

This needs to be urgently resolved through agreement and I hope that all political parties will commit to doing so in the talks.

DAVID FORD MLA

Minister of Justice

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