The findings of a Police Ombudsman inquiry have disappointed the family of a Catholic teen who was killed by loyalist paramilitaries in 2002.
The father of Gerard Lawlor expressed his disappointment at still having to seek justice for his son’s death more than 20 years after it occurred.
Significant flaws were discovered in the 2002 inquiry by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, according to a report released on Wednesday by Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson.
However, she said that she did not discover any proof of collusive behavior or any proof that the murder might have been avoided.
The family of Mr. Lawlor continues to hold that there was collusive behavior during the police inquiry, which prevented any charges from being brought.
The murder of Mr. Lawlor was never investigated or put on trial.
John Lawlor expressed his dissatisfaction with the findings.
The fury, he claimed, had become somewhat less intense over the years.
“Police must be held accountable, and I still believe in a just and open society. “They missed a great opportunity this morning, in my opinion, to address that.The fundamental issue still exists, and no one is being held accountable.
“If you or I had done anything, we would have been executed, but there seems to be a segment of this society that can function without consequence, and that’s the part that is sometimes difficult to accept.
“This should have been locked up years ago,” someone said.
The Ombudsman’s report, according to Niall Murphy, the Lawlor family’s attorney, is a “detailed analysis of a pathetic police investigation.”
He remarked, “The study accurately confirms a number of serious errors.
In contrast to the Ombudsman’s definitive judgment, which states that collusive behavior was not a hindrance to the investigation, we believe the facts support our position.
“The family believed that the facts found, the failings found, the failure to apprehend suspects, and the failure to set up a vehicle checkpoint at the Whitewell Road/Antrim Road junction actually sustain their sincerely held belief that collusive behavior was an impediment to successful prosecutions in regard to those who murdered Gerard.”
While the Ombudsman’s inquiry was ongoing, the date of Mr. Lawlor’s inquest was postponed.
A preliminary hearing for the inquest is anticipated to take place in the upcoming weeks or months, according to Mr. Murphy.