Shankill victim's brother in plea to NIO over bomber Kelly

The brother of a young Shankill bomb victim is seeking a meeting with the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers over the latest arrest of IRA bomber Sean Kelly.

Sean Kelly was released without charge after being arrested on Thursday
Sean Kelly was released without charge after being arrested on Thursday

Gary Murray’s sister Leanne, 13, was killed along with nine innocent people and one terrorist when Kelly and Thomas Begley detonated a bomb in Frizzell’s fish shop in October 1993.

Kelly was seriously injured but survived and was serving nine life sentences when he was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in 2000.

The north Belfast man was arrested on Thursday by police investigating the murder of Conor McKee in his Glenpark Street home in January. He was released without charge later the same day.

Mr Murray said he wants to know why Kelly’s licence has not been revoked if there is enough suspicion about his current activities to merit several arrests.

Kelly spent almost a month in jail in 2005, on the orders of then Secretary of State Peter Hain, amid allegations he was involved in paramilitary activity.

He was again arrested in February 2013 for questioning in relation to a punishment-style shooting but not charged.

In August 2015, Kelly was quizzed by detectives about the murder of ex-IRA man Kevin McGuigan but again released without charge.

Mr Murray has met a number of political representatives in the hope of securing a meeting with Theresa Villiers.

“I think there are questions to be answered,” he said.

“Why would the police bring Kelly to the police station if they have nothing on him? It makes me confused and angry. I have gone to a few political representatives to see if they can help me get a meeting with the Secretary of State. I’m hopeful that she will [agree to a meeting],” Mr Murray added.

A spokeswoman for the Northern Ireland Office said: “The Secretary of State may consider suspending the licence of any individual released under the NI (Sentences) Act 1998 only if presented with information which indicates that they are in breach of the conditions of their licence. Decisions on licence suspension are made on their own merits, and are separate to any criminal proceedings against an individual.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further in relation to individual cases.”