Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Military honour for IRA victim

Justice Minister Alan Shatter will award a Military Star to the family of Paddy Kelly, who was killed by the IRA in 1983

IRA victim Private Paddy Kelly is to be honoured with the Military Star medal almost 30 years after his killing.

David Kelly, who last year challenged Sinn Fein chief Martin McGuinness over his father's death, will be given a citation at a special ceremony on Monday.

Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, will posthumously honour the soldier at Custume Barracks in Athlone where Mr Kelly will accept the framed citation.

One of his other sons, Corporal Andrew Kelly, a serving member of the Defence Forces will be presented with the medal on behalf of the family.

A wreath laying ceremony will also take place in front of a Guard of Honour.

Pte Kelly was killed on active service in Ballinamore, Co Leitrim in 1983 but no-one has been convicted over the killing.

He was part of a joint Garda-Army operation attempting to rescue supermarket boss Don Tidey who was being held captive by an IRA gang in a forest hideout.

David confronted Mr McGuinness in a shopping centre while he was canvassing for the Irish presidency last October and demanded he answer who killed his father. The Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister denied he knows the names of those responsible for the killing.

Maze prison escapee Brendan "Bik" McFarlane was acquitted in the Special Criminal Court in 2008 of falsely imprisoning Mr Tidey during the kidnap ordeal.

A decision to honour Pte Kelly with the Military Star was taken after a change in regulations earlier this year to honour members of the Defence Forces with the medal if they died on service at home.

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