No guarantee of confidentiality

An inquest opened in Belfast on November 30 to investigate the deaths of ten people killed in controversial circumstances in 1971. Yet despite a delay of over 40 years, the coroner was unable to set a date for a hearing due to the absence of funding.  This is not an isolated case. There are currently 56 cases involving 97 deaths in which the families of victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland are still waiting for inquests, of which 22 have been waiting for over 40 years. They include the families of those killed in some of the most controversial cases of the conflict, including the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 when ten people were allegedly shot by the British Army in West Belfast, and the Kingsmills Massacre in 1976 when ten protestant workmen were allegedly shot by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on their way home from work in South Armagh.  These so-called “legacy inquests” are simply one aspect of an ongoing battle over how to deal with the past in Northern Ireland.  The full story here.  Read another article addressing the issue here.