Elaine Byrne: Establishing the truth about the 3,269 murders of the Troubles will always be in the public interest

Dennis Hutchings’s death raises difficult questions about who should be put through a trial process but the fact remains that victims of the Troubles deserve justice

24th October, 2021
Elaine Byrne: Establishing the truth about the 3,269 murders of the Troubles will always be in the public interest
Dennis Hutchings: the former British soldier pictured at Belfast Crown Court earlier this month, died after being diagnosed with Covid during his trial for the attempted murder of John Pat Cunningham in 1974. Picture: Presseye

The death of Dennis Hutchings last week raised uncomfortable questions as to whether those of advanced age and in ill health should also endure the rigours of a criminal trial. The former British soldier, who served in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles, died three days into his trial for the attempted murder and attempted grievous bodily harm with intent of John Pat Cunningham in Tyrone in 1974. He had tested positive for Covid-19.

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