On the day that the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery formally commenced its work, the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland has reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to support the newly formed body in their work to find answers for victim’s families.

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “The establishment of the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR) brings with it a requirement for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, along with other investigative bodies, to stop all ongoing work on legacy related cases falling within the remit of the Legacy Act.   This also sees the discontinuance of a number of coronial inquests and civil legal proceedings.  

“I am very aware that for victim’s families this will be an unsettling and uncertain time.  Many have sought answers for years into the death of their loved ones and at times have been frustrated in their efforts to learn the truth.   I want those families to know that should they choose to approach the Independent Commission in relation to their case that the Police Service of Northern Ireland will ensure that Sir Declan Morgan and his team have unfettered access to all of the material in those cases. 

“In recent weeks, some families have seen inquests run out of time and not able to finish before the 1st May cut-off date or have had to be stopped by a Coroner due to matters relating to sensitive information.  I know this has taken a significant toll on them.  To those families I want to stress that should they too choose to approach the Commission we will provide any and all material requested by the Commission without condition and without redaction.

“To enable this to happen the Police Service has designed and implemented a new ICRIR Hub to process any requests for information held by the police.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland acknowledges the hurt suffered by families of those murdered during the Troubles. I know all too well that past failures to address legacy has resulted in transgenerational trauma and significant damage in public trust and confidence towards the security forces. The Police Service of Northern Ireland will cooperate fully with the Commission in order that families can receive whatever information is known about these tragic events.

“Our Legacy Investigation Branch will continue to review legacy homicide cases that do not fall within the Legacy Act.  I will ensure that the needs of victim’s families are at the centre of our approach.”