Belfast Telegraph

Over one-third of Troubles killings still under investigation

New figures have shown that more than one-third of the killings which happened during the Troubles in Northern Ireland are still being investigated by the PSNI.

Information obtained by investigative website The Detail show the PSNI's Legacy Investigation Branch still have 1,186 cases as part of their caseload.

During the Troubles, a period from January 1969 until the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, more than 3,200 people were killed.

Of the 1,186 deaths being investigated, 44.5% are attributed to republican paramilitaries, 23% are attributed to loyalist paramiltaries, and 28.5% are attributed to security forces.

For the remaining 3% the primary source of those responsible is unknown.

Noting the ongoing impact of attacks during the Troubles, The Detail article contains testimony from Enniskillen bomb survivor Jim Dixon, who was 49-years-old and married with three daughters at the time of the attack.

He describes the attack as "the nastiest operation that the IRA ever conceived" and said his life has been a "living hell for 32 years".

“I have had three operations this year. I had my 41st operation about three weeks ago. The worst operation I ever had was the one before that. They took the bone from my hip and put it into the roof of my mouth," he said.

“I can’t swallow. I have to suck my food. My tongue is 80% paralysed.

“Every day is a living hell for me but if an IRA man came to my home, I would treat him as a friend. I would give him the gospel because I don’t want him to go to hell.”

Authorities in Northern Ireland currently dealing with a backlog of legacy cases include the PSNI, the Coroners Service, the Attorney General's Office, and the the Police Ombudsman's office.

Legacy issues have proven a contentious area in recent years, with frustration from various quarters at the slow place at which issue have been resolved.

Part of Sinn Fein's demands for reentering a power-sharing Executive focused on the the UK government releasing funding and information into Troubles-related deaths.

Former Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory stated in May 2017 prior to stepping down said legacy issues had become "the story" of his time in office, and predicted it would continue to be an issue for his successor.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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