Lessons still to be learned over OTR letters – Long

Alliance Deputy Leader, Naomi Long MP, has expressed anger as it emerged that the letters of comfort provided to the so-called ‘On The Runs’ may have jeopardised another investigation, after the inquest into the murder of Gareth O’Connor was adjourned when it was revealed the leading suspect was mistakenly given such a letter.

Mr O’Connor went missing in May 2003 after he was meant to attend Dundalk Garda Station as part of his bail conditions after he was charged with membership of the Real IRA. Two years later, his body was discovered in Newry Canal.

Naomi Long MP said: “This is another example of an investigation that may be jeopardised by errors in this scheme. The lack of transparency and proper accountability and oversight of this process has, yet again, caused considerable hurt to a grieving family.

“Further, that this error was only discovered by the inquest on Friday when it was identified and referenced in the Hallett Report published last summer, raises further questions about communication between the various agencies involved in this scheme, even after the Downey judgement and Hallett report.”


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