Officers lose appeal over ‘Good Samaritan’ report


A legal challenge to a report identifying police failures around an IRA bomb was dismissed yesterday.

Retired RUC officers had gone to the High Court in a bid to have the Police Ombudsman’s findings quashed.

But Mr Justice Treacy threw out their case because proceedings were not commenced within three months of the report.

The case centred on an examination of circumstances around a boob-trap bombing in Londonderry in August 1988. Eugene Dalton, 54, and Sheila Lewis, 68, were killed in the blast at a house in the Creggan area. Gerard Curran, 57, died months later.

The attack became known as the ‘Good Samaritan bomb’ because the three friends had gone to check on a neighbour kidnapped earlier by the IRA.

Mr Dalton’s family complained to the Police Ombudsman that the RUC had been negligent. In July Dr Michael Maguire found that officers did not warn residents of information of an IRA booby trap.

Earlier this year, the Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers Association launched was granted leave to seek a judicial review. The Dalton family argued that the case was brought more than three months after the report was published and would otherwise leave the family facing further uncertainty.

Mr Justice Treacy said the three-month time limit was to ensure judicial review challenges are brought promptly.