The Billy Wright Inquiry

Terms of Reference: “To inquire into the death of Billy Wright with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the prison authorities or other state agencies facilitated his death, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; and to make recommendations.”

Chair: The Rt Hon Lord Maclean

Panel Members: Professor Andrew Coyle CMG, The Rt Revd John Oliver


Dates - Establishment: 16th November 2004 (following the Report of The Hon Justice Peter Cory, a retired Canadian Judge, published in April 2004) and converted on 23rd November 2005 to an Inquiry to be held under the Inquiries Act 2005

Hearings: 22nd June 2005 (first preliminary hearing), 13th December 2005 (second preliminary hearing), 30th October 2006- 3rd November 2006 and 4th December 2006 (to hear evidence in relation to the documentary material produced to the Inquiry by the Northern Ireland Prison Service), 30th May 2007 (start of the full public hearings of the Inquiry)- 26th June 2007 (hearing days 7-21), 17th September 2007 (hearing day 22), 21st January 2008- 12th May 2009 (hearing days 23- 152) adjourned until Monday 29th June 2009

Report: Inquiry is ongoing

Link to website and or download report: www.billywrightinquiry.org/


The events which caused the public concern: William Stephen (Billy) Wright was shot dead at Maze prison, Northern Ireland on 27th December 1997. A police investigation, a Prison Service report, a Crown Court trial and an inquest have failed to answer many lingering questions about how the LVF leader could be murdered inside a high-security prison.

Summary of report’s recommendations: Inquiry is ongoing