Investigating the past and an ‘agreed’ truth

The Policing Ombudsman has completed three inquiries into ‘collusion’ in murders by the UFF, IRA and UVF – the Greysteel attack, Mary Travers and Cairns brothers. No evidence to sustain claims of prior knowledge or protection of informers have been found but this has not led to acceptance of these conclusions – John Dallat stands by his claims, Alban McGuinness says there are still issues and Cairns family feel justice has been denied. Is re-examination of the past a search for an evidential truth or to gain official affirmation of an individual or family’s truth about a death? Would a truth commission have any greater success than the Police Ombudsman in establishing an ‘agreed’ truth of the past?

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