“that’s very different from apologising for his own involvement in the case..”

The BBC’s Vincent Kearney reports on the review of forensic procedures here in the aftermath of the collapse of the trial of Sean Hoey, while noting that the ban on the use of Low Copy Number DNA as potentially admissable evidence has been lifted elsewhere, but it was Channel 4 News who doorstepped Sir Ronnie Flanagan coming out of a meeting with Victor Barker and secured the following quotes from the former Chief Constable.

“I absolutely publicly apologise to the families in Omagh,” he told Channel Four news.

“I am desperately sorry that we have not at this point brought people to justice for that dreadful attack. I publicly apologise to all those families and all those victims; to all those who were injured, without reservation.

“Of course as Chief Constable, I have to take responsibility for the shortcomings that the judge highlighted and I take responsibility for those shortcomings”.

Asked if he would resign, Sir Ronnie replied: “I don’t think that is appropriate.”

The report also notes Victor Barker’s response

Mr Barker, who has been demanding Sir Ronnie’s resignation, said the apology didn’t go far enough. “He apologised that no one’s been brought to justice, that’s very different from apologising for his own involvement in the case,” he said.

“I don’t think he can morally justify remaining in his current position when he was the major responsible officer for an investigation that fell so short of what the relatives should have expected.”

But with the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, backing the man who is now the Home Secretary’s senior professional advisor on policing in his current job it’s unlikely that he will be pushed.

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