Charges against RUC involved in 1982 hayshed fatal shooting being considered by PPS

Possible charges against former members of the RUC officers and security services personnel are being considered over a fatal shooting near Lurgan in 1982.

By Mark Rainey
Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 3:09 pm
Scene of fatal shooting by RUC of Michael Tighe near Lurgan in 1982. Pacemaker Belfast.
Scene of fatal shooting by RUC of Michael Tighe near Lurgan in 1982. Pacemaker Belfast.

Michael Tighe, 17, was shot dead by police, and another man wounded, in disputed circumstances at a hayshed on the Ballynery North Road.

The wounded man, Martin McCauley, was convicted of possessing three rifles recovered from the scene, however, that conviction was deemed unsafe by the Court of Appeal in Belfast in 2014.

The hayshed shooting was one of a number of police operations in the space of a few weeks that later became known as the ‘shoot to kill’ series of incidents.

Montage of the six men shot dead in what became known as the 'shoot to kill' series of incidents. TOP l-r Aiden Grew, Roddy Carroll, Michael Tighe BOTTOM: l-r Gervaise McKerr, Sean Burns Eugene Toman. Pacemaker Belfast

Mr McCauley’s conviction was quashed when a review of the evidence revealed that audio tapes recorded during a surveillance operation at the hayshed had been concealed for destroyed by police and MI5.

Police Scotland began a fresh, independent investigation of the hayshed shooting in 2015 with the remit to “carry out a full investigation into the circumstances of the concealment and destruction of potential evidence (said to comprise audio tapes) and into the withholding of information concerning these tapes”.

That investigation has now concluded and a file has been sent to the PPS for consideration.

In a statement on Thursday, Police Scotland said they “can confirm that a report has recently been submitted to the Chief Constable of the PSNI and the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland in relation to the Operation KLINA investigation, for their consideration.

“In light of this, it would be inappropriate for Police Scotland to comment further at this time.”

The PSNI said: “Police Service of Northern Ireland have received a copy of a report from Police Scotland in relation to the Operation KLINA investigation. We are also aware that a report has been submitted to the PPS by Police Scotland. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”