Thursday 26 April 2018

Patrick Kielty claims family rejected IRA ‘revenge’ offer

Mark Edwards

Comedian Patrick Kielty has told how the IRA offered “revenge” for the UFF murder of his father.

Jack Kielty’s was shot dead in 1988 in Dundrum, Co Down.

His son makes the claim in a new BBC One documentary to be broadcast tonight.

The comic said his family rejected the offer “in no uncertain terms”.

In My Dad, The Peace Deal And Me, Kielty reveals how his uncle was approached by the IRA in the graveyard.

He says an IRA man said to his uncle: “We could properly use a couple of good, smart, strong, strapping lads like those Kielty lads if they are interested in revenge.”

Kielty added: “They were told in no uncertain terms where to go. My dad died for nothing — he wasn’t a political figure, he wasn’t taking a stand.

“He had a building firm, he employed both sides.

“That wouldn’t be considered a stand anywhere else.

“He was just doing the right thing.”

Three men were convicted over the murder but were freed from prison after the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

The documentary sees Kielty explore the legacy of the Agreement 20 years on. He reveals he voted in favour of it.

He also meets DUP leader Arlene Foster, whose police officer father was shot by the IRA but survived.

The former First Minister survived a bomb attack on her school bus when she was 16. She told Kielty that she did not vote in favour of the Agreement because of prisoner releases.

She said: “How can you allow people who have committed some of the most hideous crimes to just walk free as if they had done nothing?”

Kielty tells Mrs Foster that he voted yes despite knowing that it would lead to the release of the men who murdered his father. “That’s true for you, but for others they want justice,” she replied. “Sadly, there are some people that still want retribution.

“That’s why, 20 years later, we’re talking of the legacy of the Troubles and struggling with how to deal with it.”

Around 500 prisoners were released under the terms of the Agreement.

Others featured in the documentary include PUP leader Billy Hutchinson, who is a UVF double murderer, and Richard Moore, who was blinded at the age of 10 after being shot at point-blank range with a plastic bullet by a British soldier and who later went on to found the charity Children in Crossfire.

Belfast Telegraph

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