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Firearm find 'could help solve 1987 slaying of Paddy'

By Patsy McArdle

Police on both sides of the border may now be able to trace the killer of a man found dead at a derelict building in Co Monaghan 30 years ago.

It follows the discovery and seizure of a firearm that could provide vital forensic evidence into the death of Paddy Cunningham.

The family of the 32-year-old, whose body was discovered buried in a shed at Errybane, near Castleblayney, in 1987 appealed last week for an investigation to be reopened into his murder.

Yesterday a family spokesman said they believed there was "important forensic evidence available, as a result of the recovery of the weapon, which might help bring closure to the Co Monaghan case".

He said: "We believe the gun will provide forensic evidence that may help identify the killer and we are renewing our call for a full probe to be undertaken by the Garda and the PSNI."

It was initially claimed that Mr Cunningham, who was abducted from a house in Co Monaghan, was a victim of the INLA.

However, the terror group later denied it was linked with the man's kidnapping or murder.

The family spokesman added: "We are anxious to see the perpetrator or perpetrators of Paddy's murder brought to justice."

Mr Cunningham was killed in May 1987, but his body wasn't discovered until six months later.

The spokesman said that having discussed the case with legal representatives for the family, they were now "very hopeful of fresh developments".

He added: "After 30 years in limbo for our family, we are now optimistic of having closure brought to the case."

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