Convicted INLA killer Martin McElkerney dies after shooting incident at Milltown Cemetery

Martin McElkerney. Pic: Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
Martin McElkerney. Pic: Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

A former INLA leader who was jailed for the murder of a soldier and two schoolboys has died in hospital from injuries sustained in a shooting incident at the republican plot at Milltown Cemetery yesterday.

Martin McElkerney, 57, was being treated for serious head injuries at the Royal Victoria Hospital, but has since passed away.

According to media reports, McElkerney was found near the INLA burial plot and a hundgun was lying nearby.

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed that the man injured in the shooting incident at the cemetery yesterday afternoon has since died.

"A man was taken to hospital following the incident but has since passed away," he said.

"A suspected firearm has been recovered from the scene and at this stage police are not seeking any other persons in relation to the incident."

A spokesperson for the NI Ambulance Service said: "We received a 999 call at 13.55 on Thursday 16 May. NIAS despatched two emergency crews to the scene. The charity Air Ambulance was also despatched to the incident.

"Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, one patient was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast."

In 1987 McElkerney was sentenced to life in prison for his part in a botched bomb attack at the Divis Flats complex in west Belfast in September 1982 which claimed the lives of 11-year-old Kevin Valliday, his friend Stephen Bennett, 14, and 20-year-old Lance Bombardier Kevin Waller.

In 1999 he was among the first INLA prisoners to be released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.