Belfast Telegraph

RUC ‘shoot-to-kill’ inquests may use virtual recreations

By Adrian Rutherford

A computer simulation could be used to help a coroner’s probe into three of the most controversial deaths from the Troubles, a court has heard.

Senior coroner John Leckey is seeking a virtual reconstruction of the sites where a Catholic teenager and two republicans were shot dead by police nearly three decades ago.

They are among six men who died after controversial operations carried out by the RUC — in what became known as ‘shoot-to-kill’ incidents — in Co Armagh in late 1982.

Mr Leckey is also probing the deaths of three policemen killed by an IRA bomb in Lurgan just weeks earlier — and yesterday a hearing in Belfast was told the Attorney General had agreed to hold fresh inquests into their deaths.

The shoot-to-kill allegations refer to three separate incidents in 1982:

  • The killing of IRA men Gervaise McKerr, Eugene Toman and Sean Burns in Lurgan on November 11.
  • The shooting of Catholic teenager Michael Tighe near Craigavon on November 24.
  • The deaths of INLA suspects Seamus Grew and Roddy Carroll near Armagh on December 12.

Mr Leckey said he had contacted firearms expert Dr Graham Renshaw about obtaining computer imagery of where Tighe, Carroll and Grew’s died.

An inquest into all the deaths was abandoned 16 years ago after police refused to hand over top-secret reports by John Stalker and Colin Sampson.

Yesterday’s hearing was told that a date has not been fixed for the files’ release, over a year after Mr Leckey ordered the PSNI to hand them over.

Tony McGleenan, for the Chief Constable, said they would be released once public interest immunity certificates had been completed and sensitive material redacted.

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