Republic must do more, says Donaldson

Garda Richard Fallon was killed by republicans during a bank robbery in 1970. His son Finian believes elements of the state armed and protected the killers and is calling for a public inquiry.
Garda Richard Fallon was killed by republicans during a bank robbery in 1970. His son Finian believes elements of the state armed and protected the killers and is calling for a public inquiry.

Garda Richard Fallon was the first member of An Garda Síochána to be killed in the Troubles.

He was shot in Dublin by republicans during a bank robbery in 1970. The gunmen belonged to republican group, Saor Eire.

Although there were several prosecutions, nobody was convicted for the crime.

Estimated to have only a few dozen members, Saor Eire emerged in the late 1960s and faded away in the mid 1970s. According to the Irish Times, it was “believed to be involved in gun running to Northern Ireland in 1969”.

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said Richard Fallon’s family are entitled to truth and justice.

“As with our own government, the Irish government needs to do more to ensure that those who served the state and were targeted by the PIRA are given much greater priority in terms of the investigation of unsolved murders,” he said. “Dublin also needs to acknowledge the role that it played in arming the PIRA and take responsibility for its actions and the consequences for people like Garda Richard Fallon who paid the ultimate price.”

Kenny Donaldson, director of services with victims’ group the South East Fermanagh Foundation, said the Fallon case “goes right to the heart of our difficulties with the Republic of Ireland state”.

He added: “The Fallon family have been denied answers, they have been passed off and treated with contempt by the same structures which Garda Fallon pledged his allegiance to.“