Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Lynch calls on Ford to improve coronial system

Published: 7 October, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA, Seán Lynch, introduced a motion on behalf of the party in the Assembly this week on the Coroner's Service, calling on Minister of Justice, David Ford, to provide the resources necessary to ensure that our coronial system works in an effective and timely manner.

In bringing forward the motion, Mr Lynch highlighted the fact that 'It is almost 18 months since the current senior coroner, Mr Leckey, announced his plans to retire. He gave ample time for his replacement to be selected well in advance of his going.' However, the recruitment process was not initiated until 10 September.

Mr Lynch said that 'major controversy and frustration has existed for many years now around inquests, particularly those involving state forces and their agents.'

'There are 55 legacy inquests outstanding relating to 86 deaths. Many families have been waiting decades to find out what happened to their loved ones.'

'The manner in which families have been treated is nothing short of a disgrace. Even after decades, they have not given up hope for truth and justice.'

During the debate, Minister for Justice, David Ford said that 'progress in dealing with the past, including the further enhancement of the Coroners Service and legacy inquest process, can only be made in the context of the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement and the associated funding for which it provides.'

MLAs voted in favour of a motion demanding Justice Minister David Ford provide adequate resources to ensure the coronial system works in an effective and timely manner.