29 April 2005

An Phoblacht

Kelly family anger as probe cop is reassigned

The top English police officer seconded from the West Midlands force to reinvestigate the 1974 killing of Independent Nationalist Councillor Patsy Kelly, has returned to England.

PSNI sources confirmed that Detective Superintendent Andrew Hunter has been released from his post to return to work in the West Midlands

Now the Kelly family is saying that this latest investigation will be closed again without anyone being charged.

Previous investigations have been hampered because vital evidence went missing and RUC files were lost.

Kelly's brother Peter, commenting on this latest development, said: "That's it. It is all over for us. We have said it from the start and we will say it again, we had no confidence in any police investigation and as far as I'm concerned, this result just proves it."

The RUC reopened the case in 1993 but those investigations led nowhere and in 2002, when the PSNI indicated it would reopen the investigation, the Kelly family rejected this and, demanding an independent inquiry, went to the High Court. However, their case was dismissed.

Patsy Kelly, a 33-year-old Independent member of Omagh District Council, was ambushed and shot as he returned home from the bar he managed in Trillick, County Tyrone, on 24 July 1974. His body was discovered by fishermen three weeks later in Lough Eyes in County Fermanagh. He had been shot four times.

There has always been strong evidence to suggest local UDR members were involved in the killing and the Kelly family has accused the RUC of colluding with the UDR to protect the killers.

In 1999, former UDR soldier David Jordan broke down in a bar and admitted he was there when Kelly was killed. He also named other UDR men who, he said, carried out the killing.

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