Northern Ireland

On the Runs: Morrison fails in bid to challenge scheme

Shankill bomb Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Mrs Morrison's son Michael, his partner Evelyn Baird and their seven-year-old daughter Michelle were among 10 people killed in the Shankill bomb attack in 1993

A woman who lost three members of her family in the 1993 Shankill Road bomb atrocity in Belfast has failed in a legal bid to challenge the government's On the Runs scheme.

The challenge was brought by Elizabeth Morrison.

Her son Michael, his partner Evelyn Baird and their child Michelle were among 10 people killed in the IRA attack.

A judge has refused permission for a judicial review of the scheme.

It resulted in more than 180 republican paramilitary suspects being sent letters assuring them they were not wanted by police and would not be arrested.

The judge said he was dismissing the legal action because the government had stated publicly that the letters did not mean those who received them could not be prosecuted, and that the scheme is now abolished.

During the hearing, a lawyer for the PSNI told the court there was no evidence to support a claim that a Shankill bomb suspect had received one of the letters.

Mrs Morrison's legal challenge centred on a press report that one of the bomb suspects who fled across the Irish border was among nearly 200 republicans in receipt of a secret letter stating he was not wanted by police.

The On the Runs scheme provoked outrage after County Donegal man John Downey's trial on charges linked to the 1982 London Hyde Park bombing collapsed in February 2014.


He had been mistakenly sent a government letter saying he was not wanted for questioning by police.

The full scale of the administrative scheme involving other republican paramilitary suspects then emerged.

Police were said to believe 95 of those people who received letters could be linked to nearly 300 murders.

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