Northern Ireland

Family criticise delay of Derry bomb inquiry report

Creggan bomb scene
Image caption Three people were murdered in the IRA bombing

The family of a man killed by an IRA bomb 23 years ago have criticised a further delay in the publication of a report into how the RUC dealt with the attack.

Sean Dalton was one of three people killed when a booby-trap device exploded in August 1988.

The bomb had been left for the security forces at Kildrum Gardens in Creggan.

The Police Ombudsman's Office began an investigation after receiving a public complaint about the police response.

Mr Dalton, who was 55 and Sheila Lewis, 60, were murdered.

Another man Gerard Curran died the following year from his injuries.

In a statement released on the anniversary of the bomb, Mr Dalton's family said they had asked that allegations that the RUC had known that the flat had been booby-trapped be investigated in 2005.

"It was agreed we would receive a final report in the autumn of 2010. Since then we have been promised many times that the report would be ready, yet we are still waiting.

"We were recently assured that we would receive the report at the end of August 2011 to coincide with the 23rd anniversary.

"In a letter dated 26 August 2011 to the Pat Finucane Centre, however, the ombudsman has reneged on that promise and says the report will be delayed yet again.

"We are deeply disappointed and urge the ombudsman to release the report without further delay."

Al Hutchinson is the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. A spokesman for his office said: "We can understand the family's frustration and can assure them that it will be the next major historical report that we publish."

'Good neighbours bomb'

Lost Lives, the book which chronicles every death in Northern Ireland's Troubles, said the incident was described as the "good neighbours bomb".

It said the IRA had kidnapped a man and booby-trapped his flat in the expectation it would be searched by the security forces.

Instead the three victims, who had noticed their neighbour's absence, went to the man's flat. Mr Dalton managed to get inside which detonated the bomb and demolished the flat.

According to Lost Lives, Mr Dalton's family later claimed the police had been negligent in allowing civilians to approach the flat.

They alleged the police were aware it had been booby-trapped but the bomb had been left in place to protect an informant.

The family stressed that the IRA was ultimately responsible for what happened but said the RUC should have also accepted its responsibility.

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