Larkin views ‘worse than insulting’

Sammy McDevitt pictured at the spot in Fountain Street, Strabane, where his brother, Eamonn, was shot dead by British soldiers almost forty years ago. 1608JM50
Sammy McDevitt pictured at the spot in Fountain Street, Strabane, where his brother, Eamonn, was shot dead by British soldiers almost forty years ago. 1608JM50
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Bereaved families in the North West have slammed the Attorney General’s controversial proposal to scrap all Troubles-related investigations.

John Larkin sparked outrage on Wednesday when he said that there should be no further police investigations, inquests or inquiries into any relevant killings that took place before the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

Mickey McKinney, whose brother Willie was murdered on Bloody Sunday, branded the Attorney General’s comments as “ridiculous”.

“For Larkin to say this, suggesting we all forget about what happened in the past, is just ridiculous,” Mr McKinney told the ‘Journal’.

“If he lost someone, I wonder would he feel the same? Murder is murder, and this proposal must be contested by all involved.”

Kay Green, who lost her teenage brother Jackie Duddy on Bloody Sunday, said: “Well, he [John Larkin]seems to have united people in their outrage. What do they expect us to do, just walk away?”

Sammy McDevitt, whose brother Eamonn was shot by the British Army in Strabane in 1971, described the comments as “worse than insulting”.

“We have still not received any official report into Eamon’s murder and we will not give up until we get one,” he added.

In April 1982, eleven year-old Derry schoolboy Stephen McConomy was shot and killed by a plastic bullet.

His brother Emmet said of Mr Larkin’s statement: “When I first heard about it, I thought it was ludicrous. We have no intentions of giving up.”

Jean Hegarty, whose brother Kevin McElhinney, was murdered on Bloody Sunday, says it’s good that the subject has been brought up for discussion.

However, she fears that views such as those publicised by the Attorney General could be damaging, especially to the police investigating such cases. “What is it doing to the psyche of those cops who are actually working on historical cases now?”

Minty Thompson, whose mother Kathleen was shot by the Army in her own back yard, said Mr Larkin’s statement “left many people upset and confused”, while Paul O’Connor of Derry’s Pat Finucane Centre, maintained the Attorney General’s comments were “best ignored”.

“These were personal comments made by John Larkin and have no legal relevance whatsoever,” he claimed.