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Review of IRA man's shooting raised with PM Cameron

By Deborah McAleese

Published 21/04/2016

Concern: Nigel Dodds
Concern: Nigel Dodds

The DUP has raised concerns with David Cameron in the House of Commons after prosecutors were asked to review a decision not to charge police over the killing of an IRA bomber.

A request was made earlier this week by Attorney General John Larkin for the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to re-examine the case of Colum Marks, who was shot dead in April 1991 during an attempted mortar bomb attack on Downpatrick police station.

Nigel Dodds told Prime Minister's Questions in Westminster yesterday that the decision to again investigate "a police officer who bravely stopped an IRA bomber" was a cause of "great concern". He added that "90% of deaths during the Troubles were caused by the hand of terrorists, yet there is a much greater level of focus on deaths involving the State".

The North Belfast MP added: "Once again we see a police officer being investigated for putting on a uniform and working to stop terrorists wreaking havoc on Northern Ireland.

"It is particularly notable that the attack being planned by the IRA on that occasion was against police officers.

"We must get behind our security forces and all those who stood against terrorism.

"We should thank and support our security forces, not persecute them."

In response Mr Cameron said that issues which surrounded acts carried out in the past "still cause a huge amount of pain and difficulty on all sides of the debate".

The Prime Minister added: "But one of the things we have to hold onto is the fact we have an independent and impartial justice system."

Marks was shot dead by police officers when an IRA unit arrived in Downpatrick to carry out the attack on the town's police station.

It has been claimed that he was not armed when RUC officers opened fire.

The PPS had previously taken a decision not to prosecute any members of the RUC as a result of the shooting.

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