Naomi Long MP said: “Clearly, this is another difficult and painful day for both families as the truth surrounding the murders of their loved ones starts to emerge and our thoughts are very much with them at this time.
“Judge Smithwick’s report has highlighted both the involvement of collusion between the Gardai and the Provisional IRA in these particular cases but also the culture which led to allegations of collusion being dismissed by both police forces, ruling out a potentially crucial line of inquiry in the investigation at the time.
“I, therefore, welcome the unequivocal apology from Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter TD, as an important step in acknowledging the Irish State’s role in these events. Clearly, all concerned will need to take time to reflect on the full findings of the report.
“This has also highlighted again that whilst the exploration of the past may be painful and uncomfortable, it cannot be avoided if we are to address the needs of those bereaved and injured with integrity, learn lessons from our past and build a stable and shared future for everyone.”