NI: Barra McGrory QC to step down as Director of Public Prosecutions

Barra McGrory QC has announced plans to step down as Northern Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecutions in September 2017.

Mr McGrory has informed Attorney General John Larkin QC of his decision, which will prompt a competition to appoint a successor.

In 2011, the Belfast-born lawyer succeeded Sir Alasdair Fraser QC to become Northern Ireland’s third-ever Director of Public Prosecutions and the first from a Catholic background.

Mr McGrory said: “It has been an honour to have led the Public Prosecution Service for the past five and a half years and the highest privilege of my professional career to have served the people of this jurisdiction as Director of Public Prosecutions.

“I have enjoyed working with a tremendously talented team within the PPS and I look forward to continuing this important work until my term in office ends later this year.”

Mr McGrory has told the Belfast Telegraph that he has “absolutely not been pushed out” following months of escalating allegations of bias.

Senior UK politicians had accused him of prioritising prosecutions of former British soldiers for their actions during the Troubles.

In one sensational attack, Sir Gerald Howarth, MP for Aldershot, used parliamentary privilege to label him “the Sinn Féin-supporting Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland”.

It is understood Mr McGrory is returning to private practice.

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