Case against IRA informer links him to murder of policewoman

Court
Court

Legal action over a murder allegedly linked to an IRA informer is to feature separate claims about his suspected role in the killing of a policewoman, it has emerged.

Lawyers representing the mother of Eoin Morley are set to argue that other terror attacks involving the secret agent were not properly investigated to protect his cover.

Fresh papers lodged at the High Court refer to a mortar bomb attack that killed RUC Constable Colleen McMurray in Newry, Co Down, in 1992.

Eilish Morley is suing the Ministry of Defence and the PSNI over the IRA murder of her son in the town on Easter Sunday 1990.

She is also taking action against Peter Keeley, widely reported as using the pseudonym Kevin Fulton, for his alleged part in the killing while an agent of the army’s Force Research Unit (FRU).

Masked men dragged the victim from his girlfriend’s house in the Derrybeg estate and shot him twice.

He had been a member of the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO), a splinter republican paramilitary organisation.

A subsequent investigation by former police ombudsman Nuala O’Loan concluded that the RUC failed to properly probe Morley’s killing.

However, she also found there had been no effort by police to instigate a feud between the IRA and IPLO.

Mrs Morley is suing the MoD for either allegedly permitting the murder to take place or failing to take steps to prevent it.

She also claims the Royal Ulster Constabulary failed to carry out a proper investigation into the shooting, and that Special Branch officers withheld intelligence.

A revised document lodged by her solicitor now alleges that following the killing of Mr Morley Keeley also played a role in other IRA operations which the MoD should have known about.

These were said to include the mortar attack on a police mobile patrol that claimed the life of Constable McMurray and seriously injured one of her colleagues.

Reference is also made to the shooting of two Newry men in front of their families in September and November 1990.

The statement of claim says: “The third defendant (the chief constable) failed to effectively investigate these incidents or the second defendant (Keeley)’s involvement in them, because it was regarded as too important not to terminate his cover.”

Further confidential material obtained by the plaintiff’s legal team was also advanced.

Proceedings were adjourned after counsel for the PSNI said he needed time to formulate an opinion.