Background to Northern Ireland 'On The Runs' crisis

  • Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson threatened to resign after the existence of the letters was made public.
  • David Cameron called the letters a "dreadful mistake".
  • The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 meant anyone convicted of paramilitary crimes was eligible for early release from prison.
  • However, this did not cover those suspected of such crimes, nor did it cover people who had been charged or convicted, but who had escaped from prison.

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On The Runs inquiry finds system flawed but not unlawful

A controversial Government scheme that assured around 190 Irish republicans they were not wanted by UK police was "systematically flawed" but not unlawful, a judge-led inquiry had found.