Shankill bomb: Loyalist paramilitaries 'tried to murder bomber Sean Kelly hours after attack'
Loyalist paramilitaries tried to murder bomber Sean Kelly in the hours after his bomb killed nine Protestants in the Shankill bombing.
Sources say the loyalists quickly cobbled together a plan to shoot Kelly after discovering that he had been among the injured taken to the Mater hospital in Belfast.
One insider says “They got a gun and organised a team to go to the hospital to find Kelly”.
But their plans were thwarted by the RUC.
Inside the hospital, word had spread quickly and anger mounted among the injured and their relatives that the bomber had been brought by ambulance to the Mater.
Hospital staff became increasingly concerned that Kelly could be targeted and it was agreed that he should be transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital.
A large number of police Land Rovers accompanied medical staff who took Kelly to the Royal where a guard was placed on the badly injured bomber.
Meanwhile the loyalist paramilitaries were told that Kelly was no longer in the Mater and so their murder plot was abandoned.
It later emerged that a Shankill Road man had tried to comfort Kelly in the ambulance taking an injured relative and the bomber to the Mater.
The man was to tell me “I didn't have a clue that he was the bomber. I thought he'd been caught up in the blast like the rest of us. I tried to talk to him and re-assure him he would be alright.”
In the weeks and months that followed the same man contacted me from time to time to tell me he wanted to kill Kelly.
“I even have dreams of getting a gun and shooting him in his hospital bed” he said.