NO FAITH IN PSNI INVESTIGATION INTO CROWN FORCE MURDER
A former member of the British Army's Ulster Defense Regiment (UDR) is
under police investigation for the murder of a Tyrone councillor in
1974 -- but there have already been callls for a full independent
inquiry into the killing.
An ex-soldier is likely to be interviewed in connection with the death
councillor Patrick Kelly, long believed to have been a victim of
British state violence.
The local member of parliament, Pat Doherty, said yesterday it was an
"open secret" that the crown forces had been involved in the
Mr Kelly was found with two 56lb weights strapped to his body, in Lough
Eyes near Lisbellaw in Co Fermanagh. The Catholic father-of-three
disappeared after locking up the Corner Bar in the village of Trillick,
County Tyrone, on July 24, 1974.
The 33-year-old man's body floated to the surface of the lake three
weeks later. He had been shot a number of times.
Illegal mobile UDR checkpoints were operating in the area on the night
Mr Kelly disappeared. The UDR, which has since been merged into the
Royal Irish Regiment (RIR), were closely identified with unionist
In January 1999, the Kelly family revealed they a former UDR man had
broken down in public and confessed to being involved in the killing.
They said he had wept in a bar before naming other members of the UDR
who he said were involved.
Members of the PSNI police are to conduct house-to-house inquiries in
Trillick and visit the scenes of specific incidents during the probe,
it has been reported.
The family of the murdered Independent Nationalist Omagh District
Councillor have confirmed that they will not cooperate with the fresh
Mr Kelly's brother, Peter, said the family did not believe the new
investigation would uncover the truth.
The Sinn Fein councillor said: "Personally speaking, and for the
I represent, I would prefer to have an independent probe headed by a
person from outside the country.
"We don't have much faith in the Royal Ulster Constabulary or the
Police Service of Northern Ireland."
Mr Kelly said his family believed there was security force collusion in
the murder and he described the original police investigation as a
"It was not investigated properly when it should have been 29 years
ago," he said.
Pat Fahy, the family's solicitor, pointed out that the police had
breached their trust.
"There was an agreement that nothing would be released to the press
until we had collectively decided on the way forward," he said.
"The family will not be co-operating. They can't.
"Superintendent Hunter acknowledged that trust was essential, but
that's gone now."
West Tyrone Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty said that nothing less than an
independent inquiry into the murder would engender the confidence of
the Kelly family and the nationalist people of West Tyrone.
Mr Doherty said there was "no faith whatsoever" in an in-house
investigation by the PSNI, formerly the RUC.
"How could there be given that crown force involvement in Patsy's
murder is an open secret in these parts, given that the RUC did not
even attempt anything resembling an investigation, given the miraculous
disappearance of papers relating to the case and given the repeated
obstruction of the Kelly family's legal representatives at every
"Furthermore, the fact that the PSNI went against the family's wishes
by proceeding with so-called re-investigation and going to the media
with this announcement without even consulting the family does not
augur well for full truth to come out.
"The circumstances surrounding Patsy's murder and the subsequent
up is still an open sore within this community. The family and the
wider community in this district demand to know who was involved in the
murder, given that Patsy Kelly was a member of Omagh District Council.
Nothing less than a fully Independent inquiry will suffice in this