We as a family believe that all victims have a fundamental right to access documents concerning the murders of their loved ones irrelevant of who killed them.
We requested public documents relating to the murder of our mother. These were documents concerning those charged in connection with the murder by way of a public trial and of an inquest into her murder. No one was ever held to account for the actual murder of our mother.
Both these forums, trial and inquest, were widely reported on within the media and took place publicly decades ago.
Like most families after a passage of time we feel that in recent years we are now in a position to address the circumstances concerning the murder of our mother despite this being a very difficult and emotional process.
Central to achieving this task are the records that we requested. We also approached Relatives for Justice and sought their assistance and support.
Having observed proceedings this week in the Belfast High Court it has been clearly evident to us that there are more sinister elements within the police and civil service that are intent on preventing families from receiving public documents.
These self appointed gatekeepers seek to use their power and influence to challenge and prevent a democratically elected Minister of the devolved government acting in the interests of families.
In our case we believe it is also clear that they don’t want the release and examination of documents by families, NGO’s and lawyers piecing together the facts including investigative failings at the time by the authorities and the reasons why. In our case we believe that people were protected from prosecution.
It is equally clear that the British Secretary for State for the North and the PSNI Chief Constable sought to undermine the authority of the Minister who took the decision to provide us with the documents. We also understand that the Minister first conducted internal reviews and made redactions in a responsible and legally complaint manner prior to passing on the documentation.
Families have yet again found themselves in the middle of this wider political battle that is outside of our control and not of our making.
As a family this has been a particularly difficult and stressful week and we are reliving everything through absolutely no fault of our own.
We are entitled to know what happened to our mother and for accountability for her murder.
We want to know why there has been so much activity by the police and Secretary for State and what it is that they seek to hide.
We want to know the facts.