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PRESS RELEASE – Judicial Review of PSNI Independence in legacy cases- Case of Jean Smyth

PRESS RELEASE – 5TH September 2016

 Re: Margaret McQuillan, Application for Judicial Review


This application for Judicial Review deals with the suitability of the PSNI to deal with the past. It is being brought by the family of Jean Smyth. At approximately 23:40 on 8th June 1972 mother of one Jean Smyth was shot dead on the Glen Road, West Belfast. At the time the RUC informed the Family that it was probably the IRA who committed the murder. The HET carried out a further investigation in 2008 which broadly repeated the previous finding. Despite the  discovery of documents which suggest British Military, probably “MRF” involvement in her murder, which were provided to the PSNI, it was very recently decided this case would not be one included in fresh LIB investigations launched into “MRF” related shooting incidents. Three separate reviews by the RUC/PSNI have therefore failed to provide answers to the Family who continue to seek the truth.  The current proceedings challenge that on-going failure to ensure an independent investigation of the killing of Ms Smyth in a manner compliant with the State’s legal obligations.


“This case deals with the suitability of the PSNI to deal with the past. In December 2015 leave was granted in this application for Judicial Review and this case will be heard over two days 7th and 8th September 2016. This case has wide ranging implications for the PSNI and their involvement in all legacy investigations. The Family of Jean Smyth seek to ensure a properly independent investigation into her murder. The Court has been presented with a large amount of compelling evidence which the Family of Jean Smyth say proves the PSNI are unfit to perform this role.”

Members of Jean Smyth’s family will be available for comment.

O’Muirigh Solicitors

5th September 2016