New witness in Tom Oliver case as family fight
A new witness has come forward to police investigating the murder of Louth farmer Tom Oliver, 30 years after he was tortured and shot by the IRA.
The witness contacted Operation Kenova last month following a public appeal for information on the 30th anniversary of the murder, with what is believed to be information relevant to the case. The development is one of many new avenues of investigation currently being pursued by Operation Kenova, the UK-based independent inquiry into Mr Oliver’s murder.
The retired police chief at the head of the investigation, Jon Boutcher, also renewed an appeal to the former gardaí who refused to meet his team so far to “reconsider their positions”.
“We spoke to some old gardaí, and I am grateful to those who help our investigations. However, there are key people we would like to speak with and I urge them to reconsider their position to help us uncover the truth for the family, ”he said in a statement to the family. Independent Sunday.
“These people are not suspected of any crime, we just want them to share what they know – they might have this key information to give Tom’s family the answers they so desperately deserve.”
The new activity in the business has stimulated the Oliver family to fight the UK government’s proposals for an unrest amnesty that could end the murder investigation as vital new leads emerge.
The proposal to ban prosecutions for crimes committed during the unrest was criticized by families, including the Olivers, in a statement to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights last week. Eugene Oliver told the UN the family will be “doomed to never know all their life” if the government’s proposals become law.
Mr. Oliver told the Independent Sunday this weekend that her family believe their father’s murder can still be solved, even after 30 years.
“It is very difficult for us to have to go to the UN to ask for help to fight for the investigation to continue and very traumatic,” he said in a statement to this newspaper.
Recalling his father this weekend, he said: “My father would go to football and he would take my mother dancing. He was a family man, a very good father, the best one could wish for. It was very difficult for all of us to cope and the pain did not ease. My father missed the marriage of his daughters and the birth of his grandchildren. He wasn’t there to bury his daughter, and my family always believed that the stress of my father’s murder caused his daughter’s death.
The murder of Mr. Oliver remains a shocking unsolved case of the Troubles.
The 43-year-old father of seven disappeared while caring for a calving cow on the night of July 18, 1991. Eugene, who was 13, discovered his father’s car with the keys in it. the contact. The body of his father was discovered two days later on the other side of the border in soutside of Armagh. The IRA had claimed that Mr. Oliver was a garda informant, but Gardaí believes he was murdered simply because he reported a barrel of weapons he found on his land. His murder drew more than 4,000 people to march against the IRA on the Cooley Peninsula.
The family’s long quest for justice has been hampered by flaws in the original murder investigation and the lingering silence of former IRA members suspected of commissioning and executing the crime. A damning review of Garda’s original investigation, disclosed by the Independent Sunday, found it to be “below standard”; leads were not followed and key witnesses were not interviewed.
Gardaí then carried out a new investigation, tracking down a new witness in the United States. The case was picked up by Operation Kenova, an independent investigation into crimes committed by Stakeknife, the leader of the IRA “nut squad” who was also a British spy.
Operation Kenova obtained The DNA of Mr. Oliver’s clothes and asked the Australian police to find an Irishman who would be the “key” to their investigations.
The anniversary appeal in July sparked “new activity” in the case.
“A number of people have since come forward and we are following several lines of inquiry as a result of this interaction and this information,” Boutcher said in his statement.
“However, we still need people to talk to us. In particular, we would like to speak to the young woman who called the police to report the dropping of Tom’s body.
“We will spare no effort in our search for the truth about what happened and who was responsible for this brutal and senseless murder.”
Anyone with information can call 01234 858298 or send an email to [email protected]