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Ombudsman report shows why a light must stay on the past… Murder of innocent people cannot be wiped away by Troubles amnesty

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The report by Marie Anderson, the Police Ombudsman, on the murder of an innocent 17- year- old Catholic at the Dairy Farm complex on March 25, 1993 is a timely reminder of the need to continue the various investigative processes surrounding the deaths of people murdered in the Troubles.

It is this type of thorough and detailed investigation into the circumstances of this young man’s murder by UDA gunmen that is central to the contentious arguments over how to deal with the legacy of the past.

Indeed, this report, published within the past week, is in itself a direct answer and rejection of the proposed closedown of such investigations by the UK Government.

It also demonstrates the value of the Police Ombudsman’s office in investigating such legacy killings.

Part of the Government’s plan is to close down Police Ombudsman investigations into these murders. Closure of such investigations would be a serious obstacle in providing victims’ families with the truth in their cases.

The first Police Ombudsman, Nuala (now Baroness) O’ Loan, courageously and effectively led the way with these investigations and was ably followed by Dr Michael Maguire to ensure institutional continuity and a high quality of investigation.

The report into Damien Walsh’s murder makes painful reading, not just for his valiant and persistent mother, Marian........

© Belfast Telegraph

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