Screens, but not anonymity, for Hamill inquiry

Nineteen serving and retired police officers in the North will be able to give their evidence to the Robert Hamill Inquiry from behind screens, it was announced tonight.

But the inquiry chairman, retired High Court judge Edwin Jowitt, ruled that they will not be granted full anonymity and their names will be given to the inquiry sitting in Belfast.

The ruling was given in response to an application for screening and anonymity on behalf of a number of serving and retired officers based on the continuing activity of dissident republicans – including the recent murder of a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

Robert Hamill, a 25-year-old Catholic, was beaten to death by a loyalist mob in Portadown, Co Armagh in 1997.

No one has been charged in connection with the murder and nationalists have alleged police sat back and watched him die.

The inquiry is one of four ordered by the UK government into contentious murders where security force collusion has been alleged.

An inquiry spokesman said: “After giving careful consideration to all relevant evidence and legal argument, the inquiry panel has today ruled that 19 witnesses who are serving or retired officers may given their evidence from behind a screen.

“While their names will be made public, screening will mean that the witnesses in question cannot be visually identified which will offer them some additional protection.

“The public will still have access to the hearing chamber.”


More in this Section

Fifth of college students from ‘affluent’ homes - studyFifth of college students from ‘affluent’ homes - study

Second Fianna Fáil TD admits voting in another party member’s nameSecond Fianna Fáil TD admits voting in another party member’s name

Founder of air ambulance charity declared bankruptFounder of air ambulance charity declared bankrupt

Two divers rescued off south Dublin coastTwo divers rescued off south Dublin coast


Lifestyle

Volunteers from the multinational tech company harvest food fresh from Fota Gardens, writes Peter Dowdall.Made in Munster: The tech giant Apple harvesting food from Fota Gardens

Peter Dowdall takes a look at a plant that thrives in damp soil and is a key part of Ireland’s biodiversityThe wonders of willows: A key part of Ireland’s biodiversity

Pollutants can have an impact on your health, but there are things you can do to reduce the potential damage.High pollution days ‘lead to more cardiac arrests and strokes’: 5 easy ways to protect yourself

Even if you only have room for one pot in the smallest space, plant some tulips in it to make your garden spring to life, says Hannah Stephenson.7 design tips to make your tulips in garden pots stand out in a crowd

More From The Irish Examiner