Dramatic turn over bid to quash the police ombudsman’s Loughinisland report

Pressure is mounting on  Mr Justice McCloskey to withdraw  from the hearing to  quash the police ombudsman’s report on the Loughinisland  murders. 

The bid was made by lawyers including the recently  retired director of public prosecutions Barra McGrory. Last week the judge had already deferred a ruling to allow a new lawyer for the police ombudsman  to read himself into the case. This has turned out to be the former DPP.

Newly instructed counsel for the Ombudsman, Barra McGrory QC, and the Loughinisland families’ legal representatives argued that he should now withdraw from the case.

They are seeking a fresh hearing before another judge.

During exchanges Mr Justice McCloskey confirmed he had no memory of being involved in the earlier litigation until it was drawn to his attention, describing his recollection as “zero”.

It was stressed by counsel that they were not calling into question his judicial independence.

But Mr McGrory, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, insisted the application was based on possible public perception.

Reassurances which could have been given at the outset of proceedings cannot be given now that a ruling has been made in favour of the policemen, he contended.

“In the circumstances of this case; given it’s history, given the years of dispute, and given the personalities which involved one of the applicants in the Omagh litigation, the lay observer is likely to be highly critical of an assertion by the court that the court had no memory of it and therefore it cannot have influenced the court’s views,” Mr McGrory said.

Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger.

While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.