Northern Ireland

Reaction to Rosemary Nelson inquiry

A public inquiry has found that state agencies did not collude with loyalists who murdered Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson in 1999. However, it said there were omissions by state agencies which made her more at risk. Below is reaction to the inquiry's findings.

SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NI OWEN PATERSON

"I am profoundly sorry that omissions by the state rendered Rosemary Nelson more at risk and more vulnerable.

"It is also deeply regrettable that despite a very thorough police investigation no-one has been charged for this terrible crime.

"On the investigation into the murder, which was led by a senior police officer from outside Northern Ireland, the report describes the investigation as "exhaustive, energetic and enterprising".

"It concludes that "there is no evidence of any deliberate attempt by any of the organs of the state corporately to obstruct the investigation"."

SHADOW SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NI SHAUN WOODWARD

"I am unable to draw the same level of comfort as felt by the Secretary of State.

"It (the report) raises concerns about the RUC and the Northern Ireland Office

"This makes uncomfortable reading for both agencies.

"Her death was not inevitable, the reduction in risk to her was not reasonable and there were failings in efforts to reduce the threat."

PSNI CHIEF CONSTABLE MATT BAGGOTT

"Where there are inadequacies and failings identified, I wish to apologise on behalf of the police service to her family and friends.

"You have my assurance that I will discuss the findings and implications with the Policing Board to ensure that we are held accountable for any lessons and actions required."

SDLP LEADER MARGARET RITCHIE

"I want to say that I find this report very disturbing instead.

"In particular I would refer to the fact that it says 'We cannot exclude the possibility of a rogue member or members of the RUC or the Army in some way assisting the murderers to target Rosemary Nelson.'"

SINN FEIN MLA FOR UPPER BANN JOHN O'DOWD

"The state failed to protect Rosemary. Intelligence leaked from the RUC. The Special Branch failed to co-operate in the investigation. Members of the RUC assaulted and threatened Rosemary. Nobody has ever been held to account for the murder.

"Nationalists in Lurgan, Portadown or Craigavon do not buy the "bad apple" argument.

"The findings of this report point clearly at collusion. No amount of disgraceful spinning by Owen Patterson will alter that reality."

ALLIANCE DEPUTY LEADER NAOMI LONG MP

"Our thoughts are, quite rightly, with the family and friends of Rosemary Nelson as they consider the report in the coming weeks.

"We must also continue to remember all of those who have lost loved ones during the Troubles, many of whom fear that they may never know the truth of what happened."

NI RETIRED POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION

"The Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers Association welcomes the key finding of the report that there is no evidence of any act by the RUC which directly facilitated Rosemary Nelson's murder.

"The reference to being unable to exclude the possibility of a rogue or rogue officers in some way assisting the murders is, however, judicially valueless and is unsubstantiated conjecture.

"The report fails to take adequately into account the difficulties of protecting Rosemary Nelson when the evidence from Cory and from her testimony to the US Congress in 1998 was that she regarded the process (of availing of protective measures and advice) would require RUC involvement and she had no faith in that institution."

RUC GEORGE CROSS FOUNDATION

"The RUC George Cross Foundation has welcomed the finding that there is no evidence of any act or omission by the RUC which directly facilitated Rosemary Nelson's murder.

"It is interesting to note that although there is some criticism of police systems and police officers, the inquiry report makes no recommendations.

"We hope this report will once and for all put to rest the offensive and now discredited allegations of collusion with the people who carried out this despicable murder."

DUP MP FOR UPPER BANN, DAVID SIMPSON

"There is no evidence of state involvement in the death of Mrs Nelson or attempts to obstruct the investigation in to her death.

"I also note that the cost of this exercise is projected to be in excess of £45million.

"It would seem as though, as has been the case in other inquiries of this nature, the biggest winners have not been those affected or the wider community but the lawyers."

TRADITIONAL UNIONIST VOICE LEADER JIM ALLISTER

"I trust the finding that there was no collusion in the murder of Rosemary Nelson will now be accepted and finally lay to rest another republican myth."

COMMISSION FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS

"Today is undoubtedly a traumatic and difficult time for the family of Rosemary Nelson and we can only hope that the publication of the report of the inquiry gives them a measure of peace."

More on this story