Belfast Telegraph

Poppy Day victim's daughter in appeal for a public inquiry

By Victoria Leonard

The daughter of an Enniskillen bomb victim has called for a public inquiry into the IRA atrocity.

Aileen Quinton was speaking after Attorney General John Larkin reportedly turned down a legal application to reopen inquests of the 12 people who died as a result of the Remembrance Day horror.

The application, which is understood to have been made on behalf of survivor Jim Dixon and a small group of other relatives, was lodged under Section 14(1) of the Coroners Act (NI) 1959.

It is understood that those taking the action were notified of the decision not to approve the application earlier this week.

Their legal representative told the Impartial Reporter the application was “constructed to cover a series of fundamental issues that the original inquest would not have considered”, including “fundamental evidential issues with the police investigation”.

However, they said that the “Attorney General’s office has communicated to the families that he does not consider the holding of a further inquest is advisable at this time”. The solicitor added that they may ask the Attorney General to reconsider his decision.

Eleven people were killed and 63 injured in the bombing on November 8, 1987.

The 12th person to die, Ronnie Hill, passed away after spending 13 years in a coma.

No one has been convicted in connection with the massacre.

Ms Quinton 72-year-old mother Alberta died in the attack. She told the Belfast Telegraph: “I would like to see a public inquiry into the degree to which people have been shielded from prosecution — that goes into OTR (on the run) letters, etc, and Enniskillen would be one of the ones included in that.

“I haven’t specifically thought about my mother’s inquest being reopened, because my worry (is that it) would be what people would be content with.”

She added: “An inquest’s remit is very narrow.

“A public inquiry would not be looking at how people died, but the investigation, and not following up leads properly because of terrorists being protected.

“I certainly wouldn’t say the families who may ask Mr Larkin to reconsider his decision are wrong to do it.

“It’s just that I would be asking for the wider, more strategic issue to be considered.”

The Attorney General’s office said: “The Attorney General’s practice is normally not to disclose inquest decisions and the reasons for these decisions other than to those directly affected such as the Coroner, relatives of the deceased person who have sought an inquest or their representatives.”

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