Welcome for review of UDR murders

Barra McGrory QC, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for Northern Ireland
Barra McGrory QC, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for Northern Ireland

A commitment from Northern Ireland’s lead prosecutor to recall a case regarding the IRA murder of two UDR soldiers in Fermanagh has been welcomed by victims and unionist representatives.

Speaking to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on Tuesday at Stormont regarding on the run (OTR) letters, Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory QC revealed that he has recalled the case relating to Alfie Johnston and James Eames, who were killed in 1972.

DUP North Antrim MP Ian Paisley said: “It is welcome news that the DPP has recalled this case and is reviewing the evidence relating to it. It would bring great comfort to the families involved if justice were able to be done. The immoral OTR letters were a clear attempt to corrupt justice.”

He added: “I’m glad the DPP said that anyone with a letter should not sleep easy in their beds. That is the way it should be for anyone who breaches the law.”

TUV leader Jim Allister noted that BBC Spotlight recently reported that a fingerprint was retrieved from the bomb which has been linked to a high-profile republican.

“Presumably Mr McGrory has asked to recall the case to have a fresh look at it,” he said. “I trust this will be a fair review and if there is fingerprint evidence, then I would ask why it has not been pursued to date in the way it should have been.”

Kenny Donaldson of Innocent Victims United also welcomed the DPP recall.

“We understand that fingerprint evidence still exists in connection with the Eames-Johnston murders and we therefore re-issue our call for an immediate European Arrest Warrant to be raised and the individual concerned extradited,” he said.