Investigations & Analysis - Northern Ireland
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James McDonnell died in Maghaberry Prison in March 1996

European Court criticises UK government over handling of Northern Ireland prison death

09 NOVEMBER 2014


The European Court of Human Rights has criticised the UK Government over “excessive delay” in investigating the death of a man in Northern Ireland’s Maghaberry prison more than 17 years ago.

In March 1996 James McDonnell from Antrim died of a heart attack after being restrained by prison wardens in the jail.

It took over 17 years for the case to be heard at inquest, where a jury eventually found that the neck injury suffered by Mr McDonnell during the altercation led to stress that contributed to his fatal heart attack later that day.

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Parliament Buildings, Stormont.
Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

Leaked Stormont document raises concerns among Troubles victims

09 DECEMBER 2014


VICTIMS of the Troubles have questioned whether Stormont is considering a major overhaul of how the injured and bereaved are cared for, after a leaked document was obtained by The Detail.

The “strategic planning” paper from the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister discusses a wide range of potential reforms including a shake-up in funding for victims’ groups, an enhanced role for the Department of Health, or even the scrapping of the government’s Victims and Survivors Service that was only set-up in 2012.

Victims and their representatives expressed serious concerns over the proposals.

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New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli

DUP criticises major US investor over Fair Employment remarks

25 NOVEMBER 2014


THE DUP has hit out at a major United States investor over his suggestion that inequality between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland still needs to be monitored.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli spoke out during a wide ranging visit to Northern Ireland where he met business leaders, Stormont politicians and victims of the Troubles.

As New York State Comptroller Mr DiNapoli oversees the $176.8 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, representing one of the largest institutional investors in the world.

But he angred the DUP when he underlined the continuing importance of the MacBride Principles, which first emerged in the 1980s to steer US investment in Northern Ireland towards businesses that showed rigorous commitment to fair employment between Catholics and Protestants.

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The script report front page

New data shows Northern Ireland is a world leader in prescription drug use

17 NOVEMBER 2014

NORTHERN Ireland has one of the world’s highest prescription rates for antidepressant medicines according to new research, but fresh questions have emerged over what may be driving the trend.

The analysis, carried out for The Detail and entitled ‘The Script Report’, examined 36 million prescription records from across the UK, including 3.5 million prescriptions written by GPs in Northern Ireland.

It is the first time such prescription records have been released and while they do not identify individual patients, the raw data provided the basis for an international comparison to be carried out.

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