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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Police informant in shooting dead of unarmed IRA man, was himself later murdered – inquest

Michael McHugh

A PERSON who gave information leading to police shooting dead an unarmed IRA man in Northern Ireland almost 20 years ago was later murdered, an inquest preliminary heard today.

An inquiry into security force collusion with loyalist paramilitaries by former Metropolitan police chief Lord Stevens revealed the material, which was passed to Belfast coroner Brian Sherrard recently.



Mr Sherrard was discussing legal matters ahead of next month's inquest into the death of Pearse Jordan, 23, who was killed by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in disputed circumstances in west Belfast in 1992.



Mr Sherrard said: "There was also some post event information concerning the murder of a person who was thought perhaps to have given information that led to the death or to the operation that culminated sadly in the death of Mr Jordan.



"It was not my view that that, in and of itself, added anything to the inquest and the task that we will face."



Mr Jordan was shot dead by the police in 1992. It was part of a series of events known as security force alleged shoot-to-kill incidents. His case has been delayed because of a string of legal challenges which led to a hearing in the European Court of Human Rights in 2001.



The coroner has been considering 21 files of largely irrelevant material from the Lord Stevens Inquiry into security force collusion. He said two documents had emerged which he considered relevant and which will be distributed to Mr Jordan's family's legal representatives.



"There was one officer who was scrutinised to some extent in the course of Lord Stevens' inquiry but eventually nothing arose with regard to that," he said.



He said the two documents were picked out by him as he had cause to scrutinise them further.



"Ultimately I felt that there was no relevance to them," he added.



Barrister for the family Karen Quinlivan QC said she wanted to see them to consider whether further representations should be made.



There is still a series of other matters outstanding including anonymity applications for 11 witnesses at the inquest and the granting of state Public Interest Immunity Certificates, which can prevent the disclosure of information if it would damage the public interest.



The inquest is scheduled to start on June 6.



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