Belfast Telegraph

Arrest fears may keep son of INLA chief Dominic McGlinchey from funeral of brother

By Suzanne Breen

The son of former INLA chief-of-staff Dominic McGlinchey may not be able to go to his brother's funeral because of fears he could be arrested by police.

Declan McGlinchey (39) died of a massive heart attack at his home in Bellaghy, Co Londonderry, on Sunday night.

He is to be buried tomorrow.

His brother Dominic, who lives in the Republic, has been named in court as a suspect in the murder of two British soldiers shot dead by republicans at Massereene Army base in 2009.

A barrister for Colin Duffy, who was charged and later acquitted of the double murder, said in court in 2011 that the PSNI had "reliable information to indicate that a son of Dominic McGlinchey snr" was the gunmen's getaway driver.

Dominic McGlinchey jnr strongly denied the claim.

In a statement through his solicitor, he said the "unsubstantiated allegations" were supported by no forensic evidence.

He said he had gone voluntarily to Antrim PSNI station shortly after the Massereene attack where he made a statement to detectives addressing all evidence put to him.

He was questioned for 13 days and released unconditionally.

However, it is understood that friends have advised Mr McGlinchey, who has lived with his wife and children in Galway for several years, not to cross the border for his brother's funeral in case the PSNI moves to arrest him.

Earlier, Mr McGlinchey said he was "totally devastated" by his brother's death.

Declan McGlinchey, a father-of-seven, took ill with chest pains on Sunday.

His family phoned an ambulance and he was able to walk out of the house.

However, he suffered a massive heart attack moments later and paramedics were unable to save his life.

A post-mortem examination was held yesterday and his body was returned to his family last night.

Declan McGlinchey was cleared by Belfast Crown Court in 2009 of four charges of making and possessing a bomb after a judge decided there was not enough evidence against him.

The charges related to the discovery of a bomb in Bellaghy three years earlier.

Declan McGlinchey was well-known in GAA circles in Co Derry.

Parish priest Fr Andrew Dolan, who visited the home, said the family were in a state of shock and grief.

A source said that while there would be some republican trappings at the funeral, including an Irish tricolour on the coffin, he believed there were no plans for masked men and women in paramilitary-style clothing to accompany the cortege, as happened at the funeral of Peggy O'Hara in Derry in July.

Dominic McGlinchey snr, the INLA leader, was once the most wanted man by security forces on both sides of the border. He was responsible for a string of bombings and murders of police and UDR men.

He was also involved in the Droppin Well massacre in 1982. Six soldiers and 11 civilians died when an INLA bomb exploded in the Ballykelly disco.

McGlinchey snr was gunned down by two men while in a telephone box in Drogheda in February 1994.

Dominic jnr, then aged 16, was with him when he was killed.

His son ran to get help but it was too late. When the ambulance driver arrived he found the teenage boy bent over his father's body.

McGlinchey snr's wife Mary was shot dead in 1987 as she bathed her two boys in their Dundalk home.

Last year Dominc jnr called on dissident republicans to start "a conversation about the removal of the gun from Irish politics".

He said there was no "mass appetite at a street level" for dissident violence.

He added: "Republicanism is a very honourable thing if done in an honourable way.

"We shouldn't be dishonouring it by the mindless use of violence.

"I haven't said to anybody pack up and go home.

"What I am saying is that we should not be bound by the weapons.

"Just because they are there does not mean that they have to be used."

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