Thursday, September 23, 2021

RELATIVES FOR JUSTICE LAUNCH FAMILY REPORT INTO DEATH OF KIERAN MURRAY KILLED BY THE IRA, 23RD AUGUST 1985.

Kieran Murray was aged just 22 when he was killed in Country Tyrone on the night of 23rd August 1985, by the IRA, in an action that was acknowledged to have been a mistake. Kieran was a passenger in a car driven from Pomeroy to a dance in Cookstown on Slate Quarry Road. The IRA, who issued an apology in the press to the family, stated the target was a member of the British security forces (UDR) whose usual route was from Pomeroy Barracks to Cookstown. The statement claimed there was a thirty second gap where the IRA unit tailing the intended target lost sight of it, resulting in the car Kieran was travelling in being fired at from a position by St John’s Chapel at the Edendoit junction by an IRA active service unit.

Although the family received an apology from the IRA, they have questions about its account of what happened that night. Some members of the family have difficulty in accepting the IRA “tail” lost sight of the car. They also believe that Thomas, Kieran’s oldest brother, now deceased, was spoken to by local republicans after Kieran’s death. The rest of the family were never made aware of the content of this conversation.

Kieran’s death was subject to what the family, supported by RFJ, would describe as a light touch police investigation. Kieran was an election worker for Sinn Féin. He was not a member of the IRA. However, the family feel he was viewed by the RUC investigating team as a republican supporter and as such Kieran’s death was not accorded a properly independent and thorough investigation. To add insult to injury, a very unsatisfactory HET report was produced which was riddled with mistakes and it disclosed forensics, interview notes and unidentified exhibits, “have all disappeared”.

The manner and impact of Kieran’s death reverberates to this day with the family. Kieran’s father died “of a broken heart” and the loss is still felt with great sadness by the family.

Kieran’s sister Noreen stated, “We deserve to have our questions addressed and answered and we are hoping for a process which will enable us to get the full truth of what happened”

Pat Conway an advocacy case worker from RFJ said, “The family are seeking answers to the questions posed in this report. They want and need a proper investigation with the co-operation of all the parties involved. They are still hoping for a process which will enable them to get the full truth of what happened. Unfortunately, the recent attitude and behaviour of the British government with respect to dealing with the past has not made the prospect of this likely. The British government has a legal responsibility to investigate and must also set the tone, provide the leadership and create the structures where truth and justice can be achieved by all those who have lost loved ones in the recent conflict. Its recent proposals do precisely the opposite of what is required”.

For further details and/or queries contact Pat Conway on 07377621846