A PROMINENT law firm say they will be taking legal action against the State over the case of missing and murdered boys whose case was highlighted in a recent documentary.

David Leckey and Jonathan Aven went missing in 1969 while the body of a third boy, Brian McDermott, was recovered in 1973. The cases were examined in a recent documentary – 'Lost Boys: Belfast's Missing Children' – which alleged it is likely the boys went missing and were murdered by a paedophile ring which operated out of the notorious Kincora Boys' Home, which has been linked to the British intelligence services and militant loyalism.

KRA Law, a prominent Belfast human rights law firm, announced they will be taking a case against the British state for its role in the boys' disappearances, which they say reaches to the top of the British political establishment.

Owen Winters of KRW Law's Historic Abuse Redress Department said they will be launching proceedings and making applications to the Coroner.

“It was a poignant moment when the families met for the first time in our offices to discuss all the complex legal issues arising from these incredibly sad narratives," he said. "It’s always a difficult undertaking when families try to turn the clock back and seek some long overdue justice for the loss of loved ones. That task is made all the more difficult when obstacles are placed in the way to try and prevent that happening.

“The documentary makes it glaringly obvious there was no attempt to link up all the cases in one themed investigation. We say that omission was deliberate and calculated to make sure there would never be a proper inquiry into what happened.

“We are making applications to the Coroner for a conjoined inquest on all the cases. We will also file complaints with the Police Ombudsman's Office over the systemic failures by police to investigate these missing body cases as connected murder inquiries.

“In addition, we are issuing High Court civil proceedings against the State for misfeasance, negligence, and conspiracy over the cover up.”

“Over and above this, we say there is now clearly a case for PSNI to start a thematic investigation into all the cases. As a starting point, police would do well to engage immediately with the makers of the programme.

“There’s something inherently wrong with a justice system that places over-reliance on the far-reaching work of investigative journalists before a meaningful inquiry can look at why suspects were protected from prosecution.”

Mr Winters continued: “Even though all the main suspect perpetrators are dead, that doesn’t mean work shouldn’t start immediately. The passage of time ought not to prohibit a full-scale inquiry into the institutional failings which occurred here. That includes looking at links between the cases and the notorious Boys Home at Kincora.

“State agencies, including MI5, were alleged to have prevented the full truth about Kincora historic abuse of boys during the 1970s, all of which happened in the same geographical area and time span as these missing boy cases.

“MI5 were never compelled to attend nor provide information to the Hart Inquiry into historic institutional abuse in the jurisdiction. We now want to try and address that failure by calling on the Secretary of State to authorise an independent inquiry into the 'Lost Boys' with full powers to access hitherto concealed documents.

“The families of the missing boys and Brian McDermott are long overdue some semblance of justice. We call on all engaged state agencies to do the right thing and help them to get just that.”