The Northern Ireland Executive has confirmed it has no plans to acquire the rights to a book commemorating everyone who died during the Troubles.
Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles was first published in 1999 and then reprinted in 2008. Since then the book's original publisher has closed and copies have become increasingly rare, leading to editions appearing for sale online listed for hundreds of pounds.
This led to calls for the Executive to work with the Irish Government to purchase the rights to the book to preserve it for future generations.
Irish Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Colm Brophy said the Irish Government "would be happy to explore how we can be helpful, perhaps through a collaborative effort, in ensuring this hugely valuable work remains available for the future".
Former Belfast Telegraph political correspondent Chris Thornton said he and his fellow authors, the Independent's David McKittrick, the late BBC journalist Seamus Kelters, historian and columnist Brian Feeney and author David McVea did not want to see the work reprinted and were against government intervention.
In a response to an Assembly question by Alliance MLA Andrew Muir, the Executive Office confirmed it has no plans to purchase the work.
Mr Muir asked First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill if they had any plans "in relation to their good relations duties" to purchase the rights to the book and make it available for free online.
"We currently have no plans to purchase the rights to the book. However, PRONI (Public Records Office Northern Ireland) are in possession of some archived material relating to Lost Lives and are in the process of arranging and cataloguing it," their response read.
Mr Muir said there was a danger the publication would become a collector's item with limited copies in libraries and others sold online to the highest bidder.
"I recognise concerns about government intervention in such an important publication which must remain independent from any interference, actual, perceived or potential," he said.
"Engagement of a independent third party to enable a re-print is a potential way to address these concerns and ought to be explored.
"Stories told in Lost Lives must be heard by future generations to help avoid repeating the tragedies in our past."
Former unionist Senator and UFU president Ian Marshall had previously written to Mrs Foster and Ms O'Neill to suggest acquiring the rights to the book on an all-Ireland basis.
He said whatever steps were being taken to preserve the material in the book must be made available to the public.
"It's important that it's preserved for future generations. This is the only complete chronological record of all the lost lives during the Troubles."
Mr Marshall continued: "It's a an immensely important piece of work.
"My fear has been that it would be lost or wouldn't be accessible for the general public and for the families that were directly affected and indirectly affected by the Troubles."
Mr Marshall suggested an online resource of the material could be the best way to keep it alive.