The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, the ongoing campaign for justice and a tribute to the victim of a tragedy still unsolved after 31 years
By Keeley Moss
Special Feature: A fresh appeal from John Dallat MLA
I am heartened to have received a personal email in relation to Inga-Maria from John Dallat MLA, a man with a long and illustrious career in politics and who currently represents East Derry on behalf of the SDLP in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Mr Dallat holds the notable distinction of having been the first-ever nationalist mayor of Coleraine and also spent nine years as Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Most importantly of all in my opinion, he is single-handedly responsible for Inga-Maria’s case having been reopened after a direct approach to the then-RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan.
I have written about John before, in several sections of Part 3 of this blog, where I drew attention to his efforts on Inga-Maria’s behalf. It has been clear from several further public statements that he has never forgotten Inga-Maria and so it remains the case today, more than ever in fact. John has furnished me with a copy of an open letter he has written to mark the 29th anniversary of the murder of Inga-Maria and the subsequent discovery of her body in Ballypatrick Forest near Ballycastle. He has informed me that he has written to the three main provincial newspapers in Northern Ireland a new appeal that he has requested I feature on my blog, a request I am only too happy to comply with. Here is the full text of the letter he has written:
Through the medium of your blog I would like to remind your readers that the 29th anniversary of the discovery of the body of the murdered young German backpacker Inga Maria Hauser is approaching and no one has been charged with her murder despite police claims that they were “tantalisingly close” to solving this horrific murder in 2011. At least one person out there and more than likely a few know exactly what happened to Inga when she disembarked from the Larne ferry and accepted a lift from a lorry driver believing she was on her way to Belfast rather than to an untimely grave in Ballypatrick Forest near Ballycastle.
Inga’s unsolved murder isn’t the only one in Northern Ireland – of course it isn’t – and all of them deserve to be solved. However this young girl, hardly more than child, was the daughter of a German family who believed they could trust us to look after her, protect her from harm and allow her to return home to Munich safety after visiting a friend. They were wrong because someone broke her trust, broke her neck and disposed of her body, which wasn’t found for two weeks while police were frantically searching for her.
Time doesn’t heal unsolved murders for anyone and while Inga’s father has since died her mother and other members of her family deserves justice just like any other family that has experienced the dreadful experience of having a family member murdered. There is no one that I am aware of to speak for the Hauser family but as a public representative and a father of a daughter who travelled to different parts of the world safely I felt it was my duty to adopt that role. I also believe I continue to appeal for justice on behalf of everyone, appalled and disgusted by what happened all those years ago.
The then Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan, at my request, re-opened the case and individual police officers worked hard to solve the murder of Inga but they have not been successful to date. Advances in DNA, it was hoped, would help and perhaps it could if only the police had a little more help. I appeal to anyone who knows anything about this murder to take the honourable course of action and make a valuable contribution to justice which will allow the Hauser family to bring closure to Inga’s death. They may also be taking a dreadful burden off their own chests as they get older and prepare for their own departure from this life.
It is so terribly cruel that the Hauser family must approach yet another anniversary with no solution in sight as to who took their beautiful daughter’s life and robbed them of a normal family life where it is expected that children grow up, travel the world, if that is what they want to do, and return home safely to settle down and be there for their parents in later life. Not so in the case of Inga.
John Dallat MLA
May 28th 1969 – April 6th 1988. Never forgotten.
© Keeley Moss 2017
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