House of Commons
Return of journalist material in relation to No Stone Unturned documentary
EDM #748
Tabled 20 July 2020
2019-21 Session
That this House welcomes the clear and unambiguous ruling of the Lord Chief Justice in the case of journalists Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney, whose arrests for their role in making the award-winning documentary No Stone Unturned about the Loughinsland massacre were judge to be unlawful; notes that the arrests were carried out by Durham Constabulary at the behest of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on warrants issued outside the correct legal framework; further welcomes the recent unreserved apology made to the two journalists by the PSNI, which committed to reviewing the legal judgement to learn all appropriate lessons; believes that not only were the unlawful arrests a cause of distress, the position of the police since the illegal detentions has had a devastating impact on those two NUJ members; notes that the PSNI still retains a vast amount of journalistic material despite the issue of the court order; calls on the Chief Constable to demonstrate the sincerity of the apology by bringing to an end this shameful episode by arranging the immediate return of all material seized or copied; and further calls on the PSNI to act on the information contained in No Stone Unturrned to ensure that justice is delivered for the families of the Loughinisland victims.