Press

Press Notice 001

Robert Hamill Inquiry opens
20th May 2005

The opening hearing of the inquiry into the death of Robert Hamill will be held on Tuesday 24 May. The hearing will be presided over by panel chairman Sir Edwin Jowitt.

The Hamill inquiry was set up to look into the death of Robert Hamill which followed an incident in Portadown, County Armagh on 27 April 1997.

Inquiry chairman, Sir Edwin Jowitt said:

“The Robert Hamill Inquiry intends to do its best to find out the truth about the circumstances in which Robert Hamill died and about the investigations which followed his death. We have no preconceived ideas and will make every effort to work fairly and honestly to get to the bottom of what happened.

“We know there is still more to learn about the circumstances of Mr Hamill’s death. We would encourage anyone with information about the incident – no matter how insignificant they feel it may be - to contact the Inquiry team. You can come along to the opening hearing and make yourself known to any of the inquiry team. Alternatively, if it makes you more comfortable, get in touch with us by phone, fax or email.”

The hearing will be held at the Craigavon Courthouse. It is open to members of the public on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open to the public at 09:45 and the hearing will commence at 11:00.

Notes for Editors

  1. The Panel
    The Chairman of the Inquiry is Sir Edwin Jowitt, a retired Justice for the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division. The other panel members are Sir John Evans (former President of the Association of Chief Police Officers and retired Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary) and Reverend Baroness Richardson of Calow (Moderator of he Churches’ Commission for Inter Faith Relations).

  2. The Inquiry
    On the 16 November 2004 the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Paul Murphy, announced the terms of reference for the inquiry into the death of Robert Hamill following an incident in Portadown, County Armagh on 27 April 1997.

    The inquiry is being held under section 44 of the Police ( Northern Ireland) Act 1998.

  3. Terms of Reference
    The Terms of Reference are:

    “To inquire into the death of Robert Hamill with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary facilitated his death or obstructed the investigation of it, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; whether the investigation of his death was carried out with due diligence; and to make recommendations.”

  4. Date
    The opening hearing is to be held on Tuesday 24 May 2005.

  5. Venue
    The opening hearing will be held at the Courthouse, Central Way, Craigavon BT64 1AP. Doors open at 09:45. The Inquiry will begin at 11:00.

  6. Further information
    Further information is available at the Inquiry’s website at www.roberthamillinquiry.org

  7. Media Reminder

    a) Correspondents

    Members of the media still wishing to attend the hearing should contact Lesley McLeod on 07764 246 642.

    Alternatively:

    Text on 07764 246 642

    Email l.mcleod@napier.ac.uk

    Places are limited - pre-register to ensure a place.

b) Photographers

A photocall with the chairman and panel members is to be held at 09:00. Photographers and crews are invited to attend, arriving at 08:45 to set up.

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