The sister of a 15-year-old boy killed by the RUC has said she has no confidence in the appointment of former senior police officer Peter Sheridan as commissioner for investigations at the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR). Mr Sheridan has conceded that some people would be opposed to his appointment because of his past service in the RUC.
He was once the most senior serving Catholic police officer in Northern Ireland and had been tipped for the top job. Since stepping down as a police officer in 2008 he has spent the last 15 years working on cross-border reconciliation projects. Christine Duffy's 15-year-old brother Seamus was killed by a plastic bullet fired by an RUC officer in 1989. No one has been convicted of the killing.
She told UTV she is skeptical about Mr Sheridan's appointment. "The person that was appointed this morning to investigate is an ex-RUC man - the same people that investigated my brother's murder. "I had no confidence in them then, and I have no confidence in them now. "It is the RUC investigating the RUC. "If my brother had been killed by the IRA, and they put an ex-IRA commander in to investigate my brother's murder, I'd have felt the same way. "There is going to be no justice whatsoever for people. "When they were investigating my brother's murder, he was one of the one's at the time that was in the RUC, and it was 'put your trust in us, we're not all bad, we know we have a few bad apples but trust us'. "We put our trust in them, but where did it get us? "It is just insult to injury, every day there is something new, they're constantly kicking us down but we'll never stay down. "Every victim feels the same way, you just can't wipe the past way, you have to confront it."
Mr Sheridan is expected to start work in December, once prior commitments are completed. The body will take over hundreds of unresolved Troubles cases when the Government's controversial legacy Bill becomes law.
The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill will give a limited form of immunity from prosecution for Troubles-related offences to former terrorists who co-operate with the ICRIR. It would also prevent future civil cases and inquests. The Bill is opposed by all major Stormont parties, the Irish Government and victims' campaign groups. Mr Sheridan has previously been made an OBE for his services to policing and a CBE for his work at Co-operation Ireland. During his work with Co-operation Ireland, he was instrumental in arranging the meeting between the late Queen and the then deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, in 2012.
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