Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

NI inquiries have 300m price tag

Soldiers in Derry on Bloody Sunday
Soldiers shot 13 people dead in Derry on Bloody Sunday

The projected cost of four inquiries into Northern Ireland's past is more than 300m.

The figure for the Bloody Sunday, Hamill, Wright and Nelson inquiries was revealed during Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons.

The Secretary of State Shaun Woodward gave a breakdown of the cost of inquiries under questioning from MPs.

Mr Woodward rejected suggestions that the government was frittering money away on public inquiries.

He pointed to the seriousness of the death toll in Northern Ireland.

Mr Woodward told parliament that the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, which has yet to report, would cost about 190m, including Ministry of Defence charges.

He said the combined cost of the Hamill, Wright and Nelson inquiries was estimated at 117m. The total is therefore projected to be 307m.

The cost to the end of January 2009 is about 267m.

Mr Woodward also staunchly defended the Eames/Bradley report which has made a series of recommendations about dealing with the legacy of the past.

The Bloody Sunday report is expected to be published this autumn. It was set up in 1998.

Paratroopers shot 27 civilians in Londonderry on Sunday January 30 1972, 13 died that day and a 14th victim some time later.

The tribunal sat for 433 days in Derry and London.

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