Belfast Telegraph

Covert Army camera 'could not have filmed shooting of Co Tyrone pensioner Roseann Mallon'

Covert Army surveillance equipment was incapable of filming part of the house where pensioner Roseann Mallon was shot dead almost 20 years ago, a coroner's court has heard.

Colin Deegan, a former sergeant - who installed the secret camera, said it was focused on engineering works frequented by two of Ms Mallon's nephews adjacent to the house at Cullenrammer Road, Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

When asked by Dennis Rooney, barrister for the Ministry of Defence if it was possible to see anyone running up the left hand side or front of the house, Mr Deegan replied: "No."

Ms Mallon, 76, was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries on May 8, 1994. She was hit multiple times when two gunmen sprayed her sister-in-law's bungalow with bullets.

The Ulster Volunteer Force claimed responsibility and said it had been targeting Ms Mallon's relatives who were involved in the republican movement.

Mr Deegan, referred to during previous court proceedings as Soldier B, said filming the engineering works had been his priority.

"That was my priority. Yes," he said.

Earlier it was revealed that the camera equipment, worth £19,988, could only operate during the day and would have been affected by bad weather, poor light or wildlife.

It was buried in the ground, concealed with birds nest materials and grass sods.

Mr Deegan said: "The capability of the camera was really reduced by the slightest bit of rain, or if it was overcast (it) reduces the camera - but we have to sacrifice that to conceal it."

The court also heard that the camera was capable panning right and left, tilting up and down and was able to follow a vehicle from the target property for a distance along the Cullenrammer Road.

It was not recording from 9.28pm on the night of the murder which happened just before midnight.

Earlier in the day, it was switched off because of adverse weather conditions - but did record for a brief period at about 6.30pm.

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