04 November 2005

Family calls for charges over teen murders

Daily Ireland

Ciarán Barnes

The family of a loyalist murder victim have called on the head of the Public Prosecution Service to ‘examine his conscience’ and bring charges against the paramilitaries responsible for their loved one’s death.
Relatives of David McIlwaine made their impassioned plea after a BBC Crimewatch reconstruction of the killing of the teenager and his acquaintance Andrew Robb.
An Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang murdered the boys in the Co Armagh village on Tangradee in February 2000. It's alleged that the RUC Special Branch knew of UVF plans to murder two LVF drug-dealers in Tangradee in retaliation for the LVF killing of Portadown UVF boss Richard Jamison in January 2000.
Unable to locate the LVF drug-dealers, the UVF murder gang singled out David McIlwaine and Andrew Robb instead.
According to the McIlwaine family the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has a ‘huge body of evidence’ linking a number of Co Armagh loyalists to the murders.
They believe that no one has been brought to trial because the Special Branch wants to protect its UVF informant who warned detectives a double murder was being planned on the night the teenagers were killed.
The PSNI’s refusal to let the McIlwaine family have access to Special Branch files on the murder only adds to their suspicions.
Human rights organisation Relatives For Justice, which is probing the McIlwaine murder, stressed that the family’s co-operation with the PSNI on the Crimewatch programme was not an endorsement of the official investigation.
Spokesman Mark Thompson said: “The family has a responsiblity to do everything possible to unearth new evidence and bring witnesses forward. They are appealing to the conscious of the head of the PPS, Sir Alasdair Fraser, to charge those responsible for the murders.”
A spokeswoman for the PSNI said detectives received more than 20 calls in relation to the Crimewatch reconstruction.
“Key information was provided on a main suspect,” said the spokeswoman.

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