Belfast Telegraph

Delay to Police Ombudsman reports on loyalist murders after PSNI discover additional documentation

Five people were killed in the Sean Graham Bookmakers massacre in February 1992
Five people were killed in the Sean Graham Bookmakers massacre in February 1992

The Police Ombudsman is to further delay publication of three reports on loyalist murders after the emergence of additional documentation, it has been confirmed.

The material was found during new PSNI searches of its Troubles archives, according to the BBC.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable George Clarke said he realised how "frustrating and upsetting" the delay was for the families involved.

One of the reports includes the attack at Sean Graham bookmakers in Belfast in 1992.

The Ombudsman is also preparing reports on loyalist paramilitary activities in the north west and the murder of Damien Walsh in Belfast in 1993.

The Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson said she was made aware of the development around three weeks ago.

"To date we do not see anything which would cause concern or lead us to commence new lines of inquiry," she told the BBC.

The delay is the second time the PSNI has found material related to the reports which was not disclosed in the first instance.

In February the PSNI apologised after finding significant information on computer files which had been overlooked.

An internal review was launched and improvements made to systems.

The newly discovered material coincided with a recent IT upgrade.

Sinn Fein victims and legacy spokesperson Linda Dillon said the delay to the reports after the emergence of additional documentation was "appalling and unacceptable".

“It’s important to remember it is the families of victims who are being let down once again," she said.

“These families, many of whose loved ones were killed by loyalist death squads in collusion with the British state, have been waiting decades for truth and justice. Justice delayed is justice denied.

“Many people will see this as further evidence that the cover-up of the role of British State forces in the conflict in Ireland is systemic.

“Sinn Féin will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Chief Constable of the PSNI and the Police Ombudsman to discuss this latest failure to disclose information to his investigations and will be raising this at the Policing Board.”

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