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Coroners Service

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many coroners' cases in Northern Ireland are open but not complete; and in how many such cases the deceased is from Foyle constituency. (97400)

At 25 October 2006 there were 1,305 outstanding cases in Northern Ireland. Of these, 108 cases are awaiting an inquest. It is not possible for the coroners to reach a decision on the remainder of cases until they are in possession of the necessary information such as a post mortem report, police statement or the outcome of a pending prosecution.

Records are not kept by parliamentary constituency. There are 126 outstanding cases, four of which have inquests listed, for the Coroners District of Londonderry.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Coroners’ Service in Northern Ireland has a coroner available on a 24-hour basis. (97401)

A rota is maintained under which a Coroner is contactable outside office hours. A telephone answering service provides guidance for those requiring assistance outside office hours.