Report has opened 'a can of worms'

RELATIVES of those killed in the Claudy bombing are shocked at the findings of the Police Ombudsman's report, which they say have "opened a can of worms."

James Miller, whose grandfather David Miller was killed in the bombings, believes the cover-up may have gone to the highest level of the Government and called on the Prime Minister to get involved to establish further enquiries.

Colin McClelland, relative of bombing victim James McClelland, called on members of the public to help get further enquiries established because "we need answers".

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Both men now believe that the conspiracy suggested in the report goes farther than has already been indicated.

James Miller said: "I am shocked at the findings. That is my first reaction to them, shock. This is not what we expected to be finding out today. We expected closure but this has opened a can of worms.

"Of course, along with the others, I am calling for a full investigation and inquiry into the collusion between the police, the Catholic Church and the British Government.

"We did not expect to hear that there was collusion by the British Government at a high level. I believe there was Government involvement at the highest level although I have no evidence of that at the minute.

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"All parties involved need to come forward and release all the evidence they have. That includes the Government and the Catholic Church.

"The RUC didn't collude on their own. I am calling on the leadership of the Catholic Church and the Prime Minister to get involved and help give over the documents. We need answers."

Very pleased

Mr McClelland said: "I am obviously very pleased with the job that the Ombudsman has done. He has went as far as his remit would allow. I hope this is a stepping stone to further investigation and enquiry. There are more questions that need answered.

"The Catholic Church, the British Government and the PSNI need to provide answers. It is clear that there has been a massive cover up so far. We don't really know how far it goes, I mean I believe, although there is no solid evidence for it so far, that it could well go quite high up in the British Government.

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"I don't think it would have stopped with the Secretary of State.

"We have reason to believe that this is not the end of the inquiries into the bombing. I am hopeful that we will get the help we need to pursue this further. I am, we are, hopeful that with the help of the public, with the help of the media, we will be able to get some justice."

Mark Durkan MP said of the report's findings: "This report very clearly demonstrates another example of collusion, namely the RUC all the way to a senior level. There was a dereliction of duty in their decision not to pursue the evidence against someone despite the information and intelligence against them. Clearly Special Branch took the decision to over-ride the primary police instinct. This is very clearly another instance of collusion. It is wrong for government to be directly complicit rather than following their duty. We were promised that there would be no stone unturned but that has not been the case."