Sensational claims yesterday, on the first day of the new inquest into the 1976 murder of Louth man Séamus Ludlow, that gardaí were told the identities of his loyalist killers but failed to act will add weight to demands that the state forces – North and South – come clean.

Government ministers who preach so loudly about adherence to the rule of law and who lecture others about reconciliation cannot ignore their own obligations.

Victims of state violence and their families are demanding answers. They deserve to receive them.

State forces murdered, colluded and covered up their criminal actions. It is well past the time for them to give up their dirty secrets.