Perhaps the best way to Troubles truths may be a grand jury-style system

After every atrocity in Northern Ireland victims were assured that 'no stone would be left unturned' to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Friday, 24th November 2017, 8:00 am
Letters to Editor

Alex Gibney’s documentary ‘No Stone Unturned’, reminds us that in the vast majority of atrocities that were carried out the police had identified suspects.

However, suspicion is not proof meeting the criminal standard “beyond reasonable doubt”.

If a criminal conviction for a Troubles related murder now only carries a two year prison sentence, perhaps the best way to find truth and justice is to pursue cases that use the civil burden of proof, which weighs the “balance of probabilities”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The aftermath of the Loughinisland massacre

The government could introduce a US-style ‘grand jury’ system, so that evidence could be laid out and then sentences imposed on the accused if they lose their cases.

Loyalist and republican informants could testify against those who carried out atrocities, but also those who planned them.

As a society we can send a message to the families of Loughinisland and many other innocent victims of the Troubles who still seek truth and justice, including over seven hundred security forces’ families, that what happened was not done in the name of the vast majority of us. From all backgrounds, the greatest number of people just wanted to live in peace together. We all cried for the people of Louginisland that night and the victims should know that.

It might be a hard point, but I would urge those families to distance themselves from those individuals and organisations who justify the IRA campaign as association with them contaminates, politicises and undermines the purity of their cause.

The aftermath of the Loughinisland massacre

You do deserve truth and justice, as do many others, and you have reminded us what can be achieved if we are more imaginative about pursuing it.

Trevor Ringland,

Holywood