The European Court of Human Rights today found that the United Kingdom Government had breached the human rights of the next of kin of Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew who were shot dead by a British Army undercover unit on 9 October 1990, near Loughgall, Co Armagh.

The Court decided unanimously that there has been a violation of the procedural requirements of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights by reason of excessive delay, and that there was “…inordinately long periods of inactivity during which some disclosure was made by the RUC and the PSNI, which disclosure was later shown to have been inadequate.” [para 137].

Fearghal Shiels of Madden & Finucane, Solicitors, representing the next of kin, said:

“This judgment has vindicated the position of the families, describing their repeated successful legal challenges to secure disclosure of all relevant documents as ‘demonstrably necessary’ in order to progress the inquests and to define important points of law relating to inquest procedure in Northern Ireland.

The Court has declined at this juncture to rule on other contentious issues which occurred during the course of the inquest as these are currently the subject of judicial review proceedings before the domestic courts, but has left it open for these complaints to be re-introduced before the Strasbourg Court if necessary upon the conclusion of those domestic proceedings.”