‘Prioritise dealing with past’

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The son of a Derry man murdered by loyalist paramilitaries nearly 40 years ago was at Stormont yesterday to urge politicians to prioritise dealing with the past.

Danny Toland, whose father, John, was shot dead by the UDA in Eglinton in 1976, joined other victims’ relatives who pressed MLAs and MPs to put in place new measures to deliver truth and justice.

The call from victims comes as the Northern Ireland Executive parties prepare to enter a crucial phase of the Haass round-table talks.

John Toland, a father-of-seven from Derry city, was targeted while working as a barman in nearby Eglinton on November 22, 1976.

Danny Toland said: “The murder of my father was investigated by the HET but we were left with more questions than answers, particularly around the extent of collusion which took place between the UDA and the security forces, which the HET could only say was ‘likely’.

“What is now needed is a new, more independent and effective means of investigating all past cases where there are outstanding questions,” he concluded.