18 June 2005


Shankill bomber returned to jail

Shankill bomber Sean Kelly is back in jail

An IRA man who was convicted of the Shankill bombing in which 10 people died, is back in prison after his early release licence was suspended.

NI Secretary Peter Hain said he had authorised Sean Kelly's return to jail after security information indicated he had got "re-involved in terrorism".

Kelly was one of two men who planted a bomb in a Shankill Road fish shop in 1993. Nine civilians died.

He was freed early from prison in July 2000 under the Good Friday Agreement.

Kelly was injured in the explosion and his IRA accomplice was amongst those killed.

Mr Hain said: "I am satisfied that Sean Kelly has become re-involved in terrorism and is a danger to others and while he is at liberty, is likely to commit further offences.

"On the basis of security information available to me, I have decided to return Sean Kelly to prison with immediate effect."

Mr Hain also warned that he would not hesitate to suspend the licence of other prisoners who were freed from prison early under the Good Friday Agreement if they "presented a risk to the safety" of others.

NI Secretary Peter Hain has suspended Kelly's licence

North Belfast Sinn Fein assembly member Gerry Kelly said Mr Hain had made a "deplorable" decision.

He accused Mr Hain of "acquiescing to the demands of unionists and securocrats opposed to the peace process".

"This was a calculated decision that will increase tensions in north Belfast and elsewhere in the middle of the marching season. It was a cynical decision," he said.

During his trial, Kelly, from north Belfast, refused to recognise the court and declined to give evidence in his defence.

He received a total of nine life sentences.

It will be now for the independent Sentence Review Commissioners to consider Kelly's case and decide whether to revoke his licence.

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