Ní Chuilín stops (unexplained) HET blocking move on release of inquest documents to relatives

It’s hard to disagree with Brian when he says there is no real serious attempt to deal with the past. On the Republican side, the understanding is that that is not possible until everything is dealt with. But in the meantime some families have been trying to use the mechanisms of the state to try and get closer to the truth of what happened to their loved ones.

As John noted here on Slugger, the re-opening of an inquest into the deaths of victims during the Ballymurphy killings of August 1971, was something of a landmark case. But now, it seems, someone is trying to throw a spanner in those particular works.

Here’s Vincent Kearney’s report from last night’s Newsline:

The BBC report notes:

In a letter to the families’ solicitor, Ms Ní Chuilín said that after taking advice from the attorney general, she had concluded there was no credible or compelling reason for withholding the files, and included copies of the documents requested.

“I don’t believe the public record office were in a position to make that decision independently, I think that decision was mine to make,” the minister told the BBC.

“I absolutely support the solicitor’s argument on behalf of the families. The families did indeed have a right to this information and I believe they should have had the information a long time ago.”

A spokesman for the HET said it had not raised any objections to the court papers being released.

Hmmmm… this is a good example of the system actually working and the minister using due process (ie, the considerable weight of the AG’s office) to stop a blocking move from the HET (or the PSNI, who’ve not actually issued a statement on this), for which there has been no reason beyond the boiler plate text offered…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty