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Call for 'collusion' case to be heard by coroner

By Rebecca Black

Published 04/11/2015

A solicitor has applied for an historic murder case to be dealt with by inquest as he believes that a Historic Investigations Unit (HIU) will never be set up
A solicitor has applied for an historic murder case to be dealt with by inquest as he believes that a Historic Investigations Unit (HIU) will never be set up

A solicitor has applied for an historic murder case to be dealt with by inquest as he believes that a Historic Investigations Unit (HIU) will never be set up.

Darragh Mackin of KRW Law is representing the family of Portadown INLA man Thomas Trainor (29), who was shot dead by the UVF in 1978.

He claims there was collusion in both the initial investigation by the RUC and later by the now-defunct Historical Enquiries Team (HET), which reinvestigated Troubles cold cases. Mr Mackin said the murder case was referred to the HET's 'white team', a unit specially set up within the HET to deal with cases where a "high level of State involvement" is suspected.

With the HET now wound-up, Mr Mackin told coroner Brian Sherrard that he was applying to have an inquest into the murder opened because he did not believe the HIU will ever function.

Mr Mackin said that after the Trainor family received their HET report, they received a second document in September, whose author he did not name publicly, which contained allegations that members of the HET had engaged in a cover-up.

He alleged a HET worker, who was a former RUC officer, had redacted a significant amount of information from the report, and had also involved a second officer, also ex-RUC, who had been involved with the original investigation of Mr Trainor's murder.

"Here we have an officer to took it upon himself to rewrite history, to cover up, then get a former member of the RUC to back him up," he told the court, adding a claim that it was "deliberate sabotage".

"It was the worst type of sabotage ... it was double collusion."

Mr Mackin said he felt that unfortunately the HIU was not going to happen because of the deadlock over the Stormont House Agreement, and therefore the family felt inquest would be one of the best ways to proceed the case, pointing to the example of how the inquest had probed the UVF murder of pensioner Roseanne Mallon. Another hearing has been scheduled to take place on January 29, 2016.

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