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'No more delays in Pearse Jordan inquest' judge warns lawyers

Published 15/12/2015

Teresa Jordan, mother of Pearse Jordan, pictured in 2009. A fresh inquest into her son's death has been ordered
Teresa Jordan, mother of Pearse Jordan, pictured in 2009. A fresh inquest into her son's death has been ordered

A High Court judge due to hear a fresh inquest for an IRA man shot dead by police has warned lawyers he wants no further delays in the long-running case.

Justice Horner has been appointed to probe the disputed circumstances of 21-year-old Pearse Jordan's death on the Falls Road in west Belfast in 1992.

Last year, the Jordan family were awarded compensation for the lengthy delay in holding the inquest.

The new examination had been ordered after the findings of an ill-fated inquest in 2012 were quashed by the High Court in Belfast.

The inquest jury in that case failed to reach consensus on a number of crucial issues, including whether or not the Royal Ulster Constabulary used reasonable force.

The findings were quashed after the High Court identified a number of failings in how the investigation was run.

One of the primary issues was the failure to disclose to the next-of-kin a series of top-secret government reports into allegations that the security forces engaged in a shoot-to-kill policy during a period of the Troubles.

The Stalker/Sampson reports will be relied upon in the new probe, which is being heard without a jury.

During a preliminary inquest hearing in the High Court on Tuesday, Justice Horner told legal representatives to contact him "immediately" if any potential obstacles emerged ahead of the February start-date.

As members of the Jordan family watched on from the public gallery, the judge said the case should be given the "priority it deserves".

"This inquest, above all, deserves to be heard as soon as possible and I intend to ensure it takes place," he said.

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