A former Londonderry policeman who rose to the office of Assistant Chief Constable of the PSNI and established Operation Rapid says he believes the public ‘on the run’ (OTR) furore has been hurtful to victims’ families.
In his evidence to the NI Affairs Committee Mr Sheridan, who stood down from the PSNI in 2008, said: “I feel extremely sorry for the families, because I heard some of the families of the Hyde Park bombers saying that the police had let them down, and they are utterly bewildered about who was doing what and what was happening.
“I was conscious that, if I did anything in the media, there would have been sound-bites and it would only add to it. This is the first opportunity we have to give a broader picture. Is this going to help the victims, what I am doing? Probably not. It is probably going to add to the bewilderment and confusion as to what was happening.
“We continue to talk about victim-centred approaches and thinking about the victims. At some stage, we have to separate this whole past and deal with victims, and deal properly with victims.”
Elsewhere, in his evidence Mr Sheridan said he hadn’t heard of an ‘administrative scheme’ to deal with OTRs until the press started discussing one.
He said: “The first time I heard of the administrative scheme was in recent weeks and months, when the press talked about the administrative scheme.
“I was unaware of an administrative scheme.”
Mr Sheridan, who spent many years as a uniformed and then senior police officer in Londonderry, left the police force in 2008.
He took over the role of Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland on January 1, 2009, to lead the organisation as it moves into the next phase in its development.