‘There was Irish state collusion with IRA in my dad’s murder - now I want truth and justice,’ says Northern Ireland man

A Rathfriland man says the fact that two men jailed for boobytrapping his father’s body in the south were never questioned about the actual murder amounts to Garda-IRA collusion.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 4:00 am
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 9:36 am

Mr Elliott’s father - also Jim - was abducted by the IRA in 1972 while working as a lorry driver. The UDR Corporal’s body was later found on the Monaghan border, boobytrapped with explosives; two IRA men were later jailed in the Republic for explosives offences.

Mr Elliott said last night: “I would like to see the police we have been in contact with stand up and give us the truth. And by that I especially mean the Garda and also the PSNI Legacy Investigations Branch. Nobody wants to know. They are hiding everything.”

A surviving IRA man was named in the Historical Enquiries Team report on the murder as having been convicted of boobytrapping the body.

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Jim Elliott says the persistent failure of Garda to question a man jailed for boobtrapping his father’s body for murder amounts to collusion with the IRA.

“The Garda never told us for 30 years that he had been convicted of boobytrapping my father’s body with a 600lb bomb,” Mr Elliott said. “This IRA man was convicted for explosives charges but they just did not bother their backsides to question him about the murder. How incredible is that? We can’t explain it any other way except to conclude that there must have been - and still be - collusion between the Garda and the IRA.”

Advocacy worker Jonathan Larner of Ulster Human Rights Watch, says the suspect is still alive and living in the Republic of Ireland. “However, incredibly, Asst Commissioner John O’Driscoll told us last year that he was never questioned about the murder. And despite this clarification the PSNI has continued in their steadfast refusal to request to act.”

The News Letter asked the Irish Department of Justice why since 1972 the man convicted of the boobytrapping was never questioned about the murder - even since the family’s renewed lobbying? It responded that the investigation of offences in NI is “a matter for the Northern Ireland authorities” by which it is understood to mean that Mr Elliott’s body was found a few yards across the border in NI. It added that southern authorities may help those in NI if asked.

The PSNI said it has conducted a number of lines of enquiry and sought the advice of the Public Prosecution Service, which it will assess for any further investigative action.

Cpl Jim Elliott was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972. Two men were convicted of boobytrapping his body with explosives in the Republic of Ireland.

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