Northern Ireland

Wright's father claims report is 'proof of collusion'

Billy Wright's father David has described the findings of a report into the LVF leader's death as "firm and final proof" of state collusion.

However, the report itself found no evidence of collusion in the 1997 murder inside the Maze prison.

Mr Wright criticised the inquiry's "narrow interpretation of collusion".

He said the failure by RUC Special Branch to pass information about a threat on his son's life to prison authorities was "a public outrage".

Mr Wright said that for 13 years he had "sought the truth" about his son's murder.

"Having considered the factual findings, it looks like collusion, it sounds like collusion and in my mind amounts to firm and final proof of collusion by state agencies in acts and omissions culminating in Billy Wright's death," he said.

He added that he believed the RUC and PSNI "bore a serious responsibility in this entire affair".

He said RUC Special Branch had been heavily criticised for its failure to cooperate in a murder investigation.

"The inquiry has endorsed the suspicion that evidence had been concealed which could have been damaging to the reputation of the RUC.

"The inquiry has also rightly condemned the destruction of prison security files," he said.

Mr Wright also said it was "shameful" that a former prison chief who was criticised by the report was still in a top job in the civil service.

Alan Shannon, who was the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Prison Service at the time of Billy Wright's murder, is now working at the Department of Employment and Learning.

Mr Wright complained that questions about how weapons had been brought into a high security prison had not been addressed.

He campaigned for the public inquiry to be established and has consistently claimed that state authorities were responsible for his son's death.