Ulster Human Rights Watch has criticised a comment made by the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, who defended proposed legacy legislation on a visit to Belfast.

UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “Talk of needing to end what Mr Wallace described as the ‘merry-go-round’ of legacy inquests is insensitive and insulting to victims of violent terrorism.

“Giving what’s proposed a chance to work won’t cut it with the hundreds if not thousands of people who suffered decades of vile terrorist attacks.

“We all acknowledge that in very many cases, the evidence simply isn’t there to justify arrests and successful prosecutions. But that doesn’t mean that in all cases the door to justice should be shut or the process closed down.

“In a small number of cases, sufficient evidence can be unearthed in files and archives to bring justice to victims and loved ones. The clock should never be allowed to run down on bringing closure for victims.

“This wouldn’t be allowed to happen in England, so why should it be tolerated in Northern Ireland which bore the brunt of more than twenty-five years of brutal, unceasing terrorism.”