Dalradian Gold Public Inquiry update

The Pre-Inquiry meeting occurred at Strule Arts Centre in Omagh on Wednesday, March 20th. All parties present, seated around the table on the stage, were accompanied by legal representatives, with the exception of ‘Save Our Sperrins’. Due to space constraints, their legal representation was situated among the audience, despite ample space available on the stage.

The scope of the inquiry was the primary topic of discussion. Three commissioners facilitated the meeting, addressing each representative group around the table with relevant questions regarding their readiness for the inquiry. It became apparent to all attendees that there was a noticeable lack of preparation among certain public servants, which was only brought to light through the commissioners’ probing.

Timetabling was another significant issue raised during the meeting. Concerns were expressed by multiple parties regarding the insufficient time allocated for preparation, especially given the limited availability of crucial documents. It remains uncertain whether the inquiry can proceed as planned within the designated timeframe due to the apparent lack of readiness from several government departments and the delayed release of necessary documents.

Following the discussion on timetabling, there was a thorough explanation of the procedures for the Public Inquiry. Participants seated in the balcony raised numerous questions, with many expressing a desire for the proceedings to be recorded or at least summarised. However, this request went unmet, leading to concerns about both the content included and omitted from the records. It became evident that those advocating for the collective future of local communities were facing challenges due to inadequate resources, time constraints, and limited access to expert guidance.

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