Charlie Flanagan: 'All prosecutions should be pursued'

By David Maxwell

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Image caption, Charlie Flanagan said prosecutions must be "vigorously pursued" in all unlawful troubles related deaths, regardless of the perpetrator

Prosecutions to all unlawful Troubles related deaths must be vigorously pursued, Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan has said.

These must be "effectively and meticulously" investigated, regardless of the perpetrator, he said.

He was speaking at an event organised by Relatives for Justice on Thursday.

PSNI figures obtained by the BBC have challenged claims that investigations into Troubles killings are unduly focused on those committed by the Army.

They show investigations into killings by the Army account for about 30% of its legacy workload.

Mr Flanagan said: "It is not for governments to say to the bereaved that their loss or suffering is of greater or lesser worth than that of their neighbour or even their adversary."

He added that "there can be no hierarchy of victims" and that "the process is not about seeking to find an artificial balance or equivalence but about ensuring that we have a comprehensive approach".

"That means looking at all Troubles-related deaths regardless of who the perpetrator was.

"The Stormont House institutions set out a comprehensive, inclusive approach to dealing with our troubled past which also meets the obligations on state parties - including the British and Irish governments - under the European Convention on Human Rights," he said.

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