Greenvale: Police Ombudsman has called for a wider investigation.

Greenvale: Police Ombudsman has called for a wider investigation.

The Police Ombudsman has raised a number of "policing practice matters" with the PSNI in order to prevent further tragedies like the Greenvale Hotel deaths from occurring again. Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson confirmed in a statement that investigators from her office have met the families of Lauren Bullock, Morgan Barnard, both 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie, who all died on St Patrick's Day 2019 during a crush outside the hotel in Cookstown. Mrs Anderson said investigators have briefed the families on a "broad range of enquiries" that have been conducted so far in the investigation, which was launched after a referral by the then Chief Constable George Hamilton in relation to the police response to the incident. Darragh Mackin has now called for a public inquiry into the tragic events. ...
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Birth Mothers for Justice demand statutory inquiry

Birth Mothers for Justice demand statutory inquiry

A group representing the victims of the mother and baby homes scandal has written to Stormont party leaders asking for their support in seeking a full statutory inquiry. The Belfast Telegraph has obtained a copy of the letter from Birth Mothers and their Children for Justice NI, which tells of their decade-long campaign to be recognised as victims and their frustration that promises from local politicians have not been followed by tangible action. A report from the specially-commissioned Truth and Recovery Panel is due to be delivered to the Executive this month. The panel, whose findings will be made public, will recommend the most appropriate form of any future investigation — and there is no guarantee that a public inquiry into systematic abuse at homes and Magdalene laundries between 1922 and 1990 will follow. In the meantime, victims are seeking the full backing of the main parties. “Many have died without justice, recompense and a public apology for the horrendous abuse we have carried throughout...
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NI first judgment on puberty blockers

NI first judgment on puberty blockers

After the controversial judgments of Bell v Tavistock and A & B in England and Wales the Belfast Trust sought permission from the High Court to provide hormone blockers to a 16 year old. Our Ciaran Moynagh acted for the young person in these proceedings. The Court held there was no need for requested permission and young person was to receive treatment. Full judgment here ...
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BLM: PSNI to refund fines handed out to Black Lives Matter protesters

BLM: PSNI to refund fines handed out to Black Lives Matter protesters

Phoenix Law has welcomed a decision by the PSNI to refund fines handed out to Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters last year The police now have work to do in rebuilding confidence among ethnic minority communities. In February of this year, the PSNI said it did not have the power to to rescind or refund the BLM protest fines handed out during demonstrations held last June. Police were heavily criticized for their handling of the Northern Ireland protests, held as a part of a global movement following the murder of George Floyd in America in May 2020. Judicial Reviews on this issue remains before the Court for determination ...
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Institutional abuse victims sue over data breach

Institutional abuse victims sue over data breach

MORE than 70 people are to take a class action after the identities of over 250 institutional abuse victims were revealed in a major data breach last year. In a writ to be lodged in the High Court, victims are suing the former interim victims' advocate Brendan McAllister and the Executive Office for damages. It is understood to be one of the largest class actions in Northern Ireland's legal history. The survivors' identities were accidentally circulated in an email sent by Mr McAllister's office in May 2020. Some of those identified included victims and survivors who are suffering from serious psychiatric issues and others whose families do not know they were abused. The writ, issued by solicitor Claire McKeegan of Phoenix Law, stated that abuse victims have "suffered and continue to suffer distress, anxiety and reputational damage". Ms McKeegan said "survivors and victims of institutional abuse require their privacy and data protection more than most". "They put their faith in the interim advocate's office and shared highly...
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Stardust Inquest delayed on 40th anniversary of fire.

Stardust Inquest delayed on 40th anniversary of fire.

The Stardust families who face the 40th anniversary of the Dublin tragedy this week have been "let down by the State once again" as its inquest is delayed. This weekend marks 40 years since 48 young people sadly lost their lives in the fire which gutted the Stardust nightclub in Artane on Valentine's Day 1981. Today, it has emerged that the inquest into the fire which saw 214 further people injured has been stalled due to funding issues. The inquest was due to begin by May, with two remote hearings postponed in December and January, but now solicitor Darragh Mackin says the Department of Justice has still failed to approve funding for barristers for the families. Mackin is leading the Phoenix Law legal team which represents 46 families affected by the fire and says the lack of funding so far will lead to further delays. The inquest is expected to be the largest in the history of the State. Senator Lynn Boylan, who has continuously campaigned...
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