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Date set for Pearse Jordan inquest

An inquest into the death of an unarmed IRA man shot by police in west Belfast almost 20 years ago will be held in October.

Up to four weeks have been allowed for the Pearse Jordan hearing, said coroner Brian Sherrard.

The Belfast Coroner's Court still has to decide on whether up to 20 potential witnesses should be screened when giving evidence.

Mr Jordan, 23, was shot dead by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in disputed circumstances on the Falls Road in November 1992.

"Maybe we should try and prioritise this matter, if we can provisionally think about the third of October for this matter to proceed," said Mr Sherrard.

He is also consulting with colleagues about the handling of material from the Stevens inquiry, the London police team which probed security force collusion in controversial conflict deaths. The police service is responsible for using the database and is also represented at the inquest.

The coroner said the database could impact on many other cases. "It is important that nothing is done here that casts any doubt on the integrity of the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland)," he said.

Mr McGleenan said there was a legal problem in suggesting the family of Mr Jordan's legal team could dictate to the chief constable how the database was used. With massive amounts of material available, the inquest will have to determine what is relevant.

Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson will also have to consider issuing public interest immunity certificates to prevent disclosure of certain details which he feels may endanger security.

The coroner will also have to consider all applications for witness anonymity submitted by members or former members of the police. A review hearing will be held later this year.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph