A loyalist killer who was sentenced to life for the brutal murder of TV funnyman Patrick Kielty’s father is believed to be dying of cancer.
Notorious loyalist Delbert Watson was given a life sentence for his part in the killing of Dundrum businessman Jack Kielty, but was freed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in 1999.
Now living in Newcastle with his family, Sunday Life understands Watson is suffering from terminal liver cancer and may not have long to live.
Jack Kielty, a leading GAA official, was gunned down in his home town by a loyalist gang as he sat behind his desk in the building firm where he was a director in 1988.
Ex-UDR man Watson was one of three men, including a former Royal Marine, who received life sentences for the horrific killing. Watson was also charged with 18 other paramilitary offences, including attempted murder, possession of guns and membership of the UVF.
Delbert’s brother Charles, a former UDR man and prison officer, was shot dead by the IRA at his home in Clough in 1987 while his wife and children slept in adjoining rooms.
Charles Watson’s widow Doreen was also charged in connection with the Kielty murder for letting the killers use her home as a bolthole and driving them to Belfast after the shooting. She was convicted of manslaughter but set free with a five-year recorded sentence.
News of Delbert Watson’s illness comes just weeks after a GAA ground in Jack Kielty’s native |Dundrum was named in his honour as part of the Association’s 125th birthday celebrations.
TV star Patrick, one of Jack’s three sons, was just 17 at the time of his father’s murder and studying for his A levels.
In one interview he spoke about his dad’s murder, saying: “I don't concentrate on how it happened — only on how he's simply not there. Of course I miss my dad.
“The reason I do not like talking about my father’s murder is because there are 3,000 other families in Northern Ireland exactly like ours.
“There are so many other people who have got on with their lives so much better than I have.”