Sinn Féin election work family shot down by IRA urges Republicans to explain death
THE family of a Sinn Féin election worker accidentally shot dead by the IRA called on the Republican movement to explain the circumstances of his death.
Kieran Murray was killed near Pomeroy in County Tyrone on August 23, 1985 – 37 years ago today.
The 22-year-old was on his way to a dance in Cookstown with a friend when an IRA unit opened fire on their Vauxhall Cavalier car near St John’s Church in Slate Quarry.
It is believed that three weapons were used, including a powerful AK47 assault rifle.
The IRA then claimed responsibility and apologized to the family.
In a statement at the time, he said his target was “a member of the crown forces”, believed to be a UDR man, who she said traveled from Pomeroy to Cookstown every night.
In a subsequent statement, the IRA said an “intelligence unit” established that the target vehicle, similar to the one driven by Mr Murray, had left the Pomeroy barracks and was observed “taking its normal route towards Cookstown “.
However, he added that his unit “lost sight of” the target car “for at least 30 seconds” before “returning to the track”.
As Mr Murray’s car approached the ambush point, a signal was fired to alert those waiting.
Noreen Brennan has now called on the Republican movement to provide more information on the circumstances of her brother’s death.
She also said that anyone with information can provide it to her “in the strictest confidence”.
“My question to the Republican movement would be how they lost sight of the car at either intersection that night,” she said.
“For me, I don’t know what they would do to lose sight of them.
“The family believe no cars left the barracks that night, that’s our guess.”
Ms Brennan said her family now had “doubts” about the IRA’s statement made after her brother’s death.
“The only people who can tell us what happened that night are the boys who were on the road that night and who fired the shots.”
Since Mr Murray’s death, the grieving sister said there had been no contact with the Republican movement.
Ms Brennan also criticized the RUC’s investigation into the death, which the family described as “a light police investigation”.
A report from the PSNI’s historical investigation team, which the family said contained errors, found that forensic scans, interview notes and unidentified exhibits “are all missing.”
Details of the case were revealed in a family report compiled by Parents for Justice.
Pat Conway, a social worker for the group, said “the family is seeking answers to the questions posed in this report.”
“They want and need a proper investigation with the cooperation of all parties involved,” he said.
“They are still hoping for a process that will allow them to get the full truth about what happened.”
A spokesperson for PSNI said Mr Murray’s case remains open and “is within the Legacy Investigation Branch’s workload for future review in accordance with our case sequencing model.”
She added that the police “are unable to start the examination at the moment”.