Belfast Telegraph

SAS inquest into shooting of IRA men Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew was ineffective, court told

By Alan Erwin

An inquest into the SAS killing of two IRA men was rendered ineffective by the non-disclosure of soldiers' links to other lethal force incidents, the High Court has heard.

Lawyers for the family of one of the Provisionals gunned down by troops claimed the jury was denied access to material on whether an alleged shoot-to-kill policy was in operation.

Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew died after an SAS unit opened fire on them at farm buildings near Loughgall, Co Armagh, in October 1990.

Although both men were armed, neither of them fired any shots, provoking claims that soldiers could have arrested them instead, but in May 2012 an inquest jury found the killings were justified.

It ruled that the soldiers had used reasonable force during the operation and that the IRA men's own actions had contributed to their deaths.

They put their own lives in danger by being in the area close to a stolen car which was expected to be used in terrorist activity, according to the verdict.

Both men were said to be armed with guns, wearing gloves, balaclavas and were approaching soldiers who believed that their lives were in immediate danger.

Speaking outside court, Fearghal Shiels of Madden and Finucane said: "[This] will enable the families to effectively question the witnesses, pursue the allegation that the British Army were involved in an operation to shoot to kill and to dismiss the myth that this was ever planned as an arrest operation."

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