Belfast Telegraph

IRA victim honoured with medal

IRA victim Private Paddy Kelly has been honoured with the Military Star medal almost 30 years after his killing.

David Kelly, who last year challenged Sinn Fein chief Martin McGuinness over his father's death, was given a framed citation at a special ceremony.

Pte Kelly's other son, Corporal Andrew Kelly, who is a serving member of the Defence Forces, was also presented with the medal on behalf of the family.

Defence Minister Alan Shatter posthumously honoured the soldier at Custume Barracks in Athlone.

"I hope the award of this medal, and the knowledge that Paddy's sacrifice will never be forgotten, will bring Paddy's family some comfort and some peace," said Mr Shatter, who laid a wreath.

Pte Kelly was killed on active service in Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, in 1983 but no-one has been convicted over the killing.

He was part of a joint Garda-Army operation attempting to rescue supermarket boss Don Tidey who was being held captive by an IRA gang in a forest hideout.

Mr Tidey said Pte Kelly had made the supreme sacrifice.

"Medals are medals, but this is a lovely recognition for a man who did his duty bravely," he added.

Cpl Kelly said he always wanted to become a soldier since his late mother Katherina told him his father died a hero saving someone else's life.

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