Ford says legacy inquest funding should be released immediately without need for side deals

Alliance MLA David Ford has said funding for legacy inquests should be released immediately without the need for any side deal after Sinn Féin claimed an arrangement had been agreed with the UK Government.

Gerry Kelly claimed it was part of the draft agreement from the talks process leaked this week and would have seen the UK Government release funding for legacy inquests. The DUP stated they were unaware of any alleged deal.

“When I was Minister of Justice, I worked with the Lord Chief Justice to give additional funding for legacy inquests and the justice agencies with responsibility for supporting them. However, my request for the then Executive to access Treasury funding was never tabled for Executive consideration, as the former First Minister was opposed to it,” said Mr Ford.

“The victims of the Troubles deserve justice and they deserve it now. We need to see the legacy inquest funding released immediately because it is the right thing to do, not it being subject to a side deal or rumours of an agreement. I wrote to the Secretary of State earlier this week to urge her to do just that and I encourage her to do so without further delay.

“In addition, any consultation into the mechanisms agreed at Stormont House needs to have the proposed question on a statute of limitations for soldiers accused of unlawful Troubles killings removed. Any move towards that could result in a gradual move to a general amnesty for all, which would utterly undermine the rule of law everywhere.”

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