England’s State-sponsored Crown forces- assassination of Patsy Kelly

Posted By: May 22, 2023


Irish Congressional Briefing

Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus

“England’s State-sponsored Crown forces- assassination of Patsy Kelly (whose funeral I attended) was one of the most calculatedly planned, sanctioned, and covered up of The Troubles.

Members of Congress should be shocked by England’s ongoing cruel denial of an Inquest to the Kelly family.”—Fr. Sean Mc Manus.

Family of murdered councilor Patsy Kelly “angry and dismayed” at refusal of fresh inquest.

David Young, PA. Irish News. Belfast. Monday, May 22, 2023

The family of a nationalist councilor murdered in 1974 has expressed anger and dismay at a decision to refuse a new inquest in the case.

The widow and children of Patsy Kelly have vowed to mount a legal challenge against the decision by the Attorney General.

Last month, the Police Ombudsman found that the RUC investigation into the murder of Mr. Kelly was “wholly inadequate”, with the actions of some officers indicative of “collusive behavior.”

Ombudsman Marie Anderson said Mr. Kelly’s family was “failed by police.”

Mr. Kelly was last seen alive in the early hours of July 24, 1974, as he drove away from the Corner Bar in Trillick, Co Tyrone, where he worked.

His body was found in Lough Eyes, near Lisbellaw, in Co Fermanagh, three weeks later on August 10. He had been shot six times.

While loyalist paramilitaries claimed responsibility for the murder, the Kelly family believe the killing was perpetrated by members of an Ulster Defense Regiment army patrol. No one has ever been charged or prosecuted over the murder.

Following the ombudsman’s report, the family reiterated its demand for a fresh inquest to be ordered. An original inquest in 1975 delivered an open verdict.

The office of Northern Ireland’s Attorney General Dame Brenda King has now written to the legal representatives of Mr Kelly’s widow Teresa turning down that request.

In the letter, seen by the PA news agency, a representative for Dame Brenda noted it was the fourth request made by the family for a fresh inquest.

The letter stated: “The Attorney has read the Police Ombudsman’s statement and it is clear that the complaints raised by your client have been thoroughly investigated by her. The Attorney considers it unlikely that a new inquest would add materially to what is contained in the Police Ombudsman’s statement at this remove.

“In all the circumstances the Attorney does not consider that it would be advisable for her to direct an inquest at this time.

“The Attorney knows that this will come as a disappointment to your client and is sympathetic to the concerns that have been raised by you on her behalf.”

The letter noted that the decision was not final and “can be re-visited should relevant evidence come to light or further submissions be received.”

In a statement, they said: “It was with great dismay and anger that we were informed of the Attorney General’s decision to refuse a fresh inquest into the murder of Patsy Kelly. This decision has caused an enormous deal of hurt to our family.”

The family said they had been left with “no option” but to apply for a judicial review into the decision.

“The recent publication of the PONI report into Patsy’s murder has highlighted the depth and scale of collusion in a case that has spanned across police, loyalist paramilitaries, and British military forces,” they added.

“However, the PONI investigation only had the remit to investigate police misconduct.

“The granting of a fresh inquest – bearing in mind the original inquest of 1975 was effectively incomplete – would allow the spotlight to focus on UDR involvement in tandem with a then active UVF unit in Fermanagh and would possess the power to compel witnesses to attend and to submit testimonies.”

The family said it was appalling and incomprehensible that a fresh inquest had been denied. They vowed to overcome what they characterized as the latest obstacle in the quest for the truth.

“We are never giving up,” they added.

The Kelly family’s solicitor, Adrian O’Kane, said: “The suggestion that the Kelly family obtained all the relevant answers from the PONI report is both wrong and misconceived.

“The Police Ombudsman, by definition, is confined to examination of issues relating to the conduct of the RUC/PSNI.

“The Kelly family have always contended that all of the other components of the State – including the Ministry of Defense and the Security Services – have important issues to address and questions to answer resulting from the death of Patsy Kelly.

“These can only be properly and fully addressed in a fresh Inquest.”

The office of the Attorney General has been approached for comment.