Cory report 'must be published and implemented'

The British government must be compelled to deliver on its promise to implement the findings of a report into four controversial killings in the North, the brother of one of the victims claimed today.

Eunan Magee, whose sister Rosemary Nelson was killed in a car bomb in March 1989 outside her Lurgan home, called on SDLP delegates to support demands for the publication of retired Canadian judge Peter Cory’s report into four killings during the Troubles.

Judge Cory was appointed by the British and Irish governments in 2001 to examine the case for inquiries into six controversial killings in Northern Ireland and relating to the Republic of Ireland.

The Government in December ordered an inquiry into one of the two cases covered by their jurisdiction – the double murder of senior RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan in 1989.

However the British government has withheld Judge Cory’s report on four killings in Northern Ireland under their jurisdiction.

These related to:

:: The gunning down of solicitor Pat Finucane in his north Belfast home in February 1989.

:: The killing by a loyalist mob of Portadown Catholic Robert Hamill in 1997.

:: The shooting of Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright in the high security Maze Prison in December 1997 by the Irish National Liberation Army.

:: The murder of solicitor Rosemary Nelson in Lurgan in March 1999.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy has refused to release Judge Cory’s report until all legal and security implications have been considered.

However nationalist politicians, human rights activists and the families have accused the British government of withholding the reports to buy some time for them to evade the inquiries Judge Cory has recommended.

Mr Magee told the SDLP Conference in Belfast that there needed to be pressure on Tony Blair’s government “not only to publish the Cory report but to implement the finding immediately.”

He criticised Northern Ireland Policing Board chairman Prof Desmond Rea for suggesting earlier this week that all murders should be addressed by a Truth Commission instead of inquiries for specific cases.

Mr Magee said Prof Rea and his deputy Denis Bradley were entitled to their own opinions but such comments were outside of their own terms of reference on the board.

They had also caused great hurt to the families affected by the Cory Report.

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