'Informer' Molloy is linked to IRA killing
Published 22/11/2007 | 00:30
An Assembly deputy speaker has been linked to the murder of an RUC reservist and named as a police informer.
Sinn Fein's Francie Molloy was a suspect in the killing of Eric Lutton, MPs were told yesterday in the Commons.
During a debate on policing, the DUP's David Simpson, MP for Upper Bann, made a series of astonishing allegations against the senior Executive politician.
He claims the Mid-Ulster MLA, a father-of-four, was "well-known for his sexual indiscretion" and was recruited to spy on the IRA after being caught in a "compromising position".
Mr Simpson claimed the IRA's impregnable East Tyrone brigade was broken open by the secrets passed on by Mr Molloy, but alleged information had been held back that cost innocent lives.
Frederick 'Eric' Lutton, a 40-year-old father-of-two, was shot dead on May 1, 1979, near Moy in Co Armagh. The IRA claimed responsibility for killing the National Trust caretaker, Mr Simpson's cousin, but no-one has ever faced charges.
Speaking under parliamentary privilege, the MP said: "While at the family home, investigating officers discussed the case in front of Mr Lutton's wife and his family. They identified one Mr Francie Molloy as a live suspect having a role in the killing.
"They discussed the need to pursue a further investigation of Mr Molloy. To a man, they agreed this was a vital line of inquiry.
"Molloy was well known to the police yet none of this was ever fully investigated. Why was he not properly investigated?
"As well as being a suspect in the Lutton case and as well as being known to the police, Francie Molloy was also well known - and this information is from the police - for a series of sexual indiscretions.
"This was to rebound on Francie Molloy. Francie Molloy was caught by the security forces in a compromising position. As a result of this he was recruited as an informer for the police.
"During the years that followed Molloy passed on information to the police in Northern Ireland. This helped them to break open the IRA's notorious East Tyrone Brigade. Prior to Molloy's recruitment, the East Tyrone Brigade had been virtually impregnable. After it they suffered setbacks, taking direct hits and losing personnel.
"Any right-thinking person would wish to welcome the fact that the police in Northern Ireland were able to run agents against the IRA but in this instance, even though Molloy was an informer, it is also true that during that time innocent people were attacked, injured and murdered and Molloy said or did nothing to prevent it. He was less than a willing informer.
"While he gave over enough information to help compromise the IRA in east Tyrone, the question still lingers as to whether he gave everything he knew.
"Any good that Molloy may have done acting as an informer against the IRA and helping to compromise the East Tyrone Brigade was more than cancelled out by this callous disregard for the lives of his neighbours.
"Today, Francie Molloy is deputy speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. He is also the Sinn Fein spokesman on victims. If ever anyone was wholly unsuitable for a such a position on victims, it's Francie Molloy."