Belfast Telegraph

Family’s plea for MI5 to ‘come clean’ about Real IRA murder

By Brendan McDaid

The family of a Londonderry man executed by the Real IRA have issued a plea for information on the second anniversary of the unsolved killing.

Kieran Doherty’s uncle yesterday said they believed the secret services, whom the young father claimed were trying to recruit him as an informer shortly before his death, should now come clean with any information they have.

Vincent Coyle also called on people in Derry with information to pass it on to local political representatives or clergy if they were uncomfortable about contacting police.

Mr Coyle said that the recent murder of another young Derry father, Andrew Allen, had “brought it all back like a tidal wave”.

He spoke out after the detective leading the hunt for Kieran’s killers said police still needed assistance and information from the community to make progress in the case.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison, from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, who has been praised by Kieran’s family for his professionalism, said: “Two years after this horrific murder, detectives are still working on the case. Progress would be quicker and more substantial if those individuals who know what happened to Kieran, and who killed him, would talk to us.”

He added: “There has been speculation about Kieran’s death, but police need evidence to bring charges and get justice for Kieran and his family. Information from the community, not speculation, will help police to build an evidential case.”

Mr Coyle said he wanted to add to the police appeal for information.

“We would like to call on the security services, MI5, MI6 — now is the time to come forward. Kieran went to the local media and said he believed it was MI5 who were making approaches to him and on the night of his death, they seemed to disappear from the scene.

“This is an ongoing chore our family face every day, to try and find out answers from the security services.

“We as a family believe that unless MI5 are made answerable, we are never going to get anywhere as far as justice is concerned. No-one should be above the law and everyone should be answerable to the law.”

In March 2011, senior Government security adviser Lord Carlile, after a four-month probe, warned over potential “national security issues in this matter”, but concluded there was no “inappropriate or improper” actions on the part of the security services in relation to Mr Doherty’s death.

The family at the time expressed their disappointment with the findings and said that many questions remained unanswered.

Mr Coyle said yesterday: “With alleged MI5 involvement by Kieran, it has always been the family’s belief that there is a need to sit down at Palace Barracks and get out the file on this and find out the facts.”

He added: “Furthermore, a lot of people are afraid to talk to police. If anyone has information, they could go to a priest or an MLA or community representative, somebody they feel more comfortable with.”

Mr Coyle said the family would be taking part in the Easter Rosary over the coming weeks to pray for healing for their own family and others, including the Gallagher family, who this week appealed for the IRA to come clean about who planted the bomb which killed their young son Gordon in Creggan 39 years ago.

Background

A 31-year-old father-of-one, Mr Doherty was abducted shortly after leaving his home in Coshwen at around 8pm on the evening of February 24, 2010. He was taken to the deserted Braehead Road, where he was shot dead by gunmen from the Real IRA.

His body was found by a passer-by at around 10.40pm. Shortly afterwards the dissident organisation alleged Mr Doherty was executed because he was involved in a Donegal cannabis operation, a claim his family have strenuously denied. Police have carried out a number of searches and made three arrests to date, but so far no-one has been charged with the murder.

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