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The RUC man killed by a Protestant who joined the IRA: Author Ian Cobain 'wanted to find out why people did what they did’

Author Ian Cobain tells Editor-at-Large Gail Walker why he chose to write about the 1978 murder of Constable Millar McAllister and what we can learn from unravelling the past

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Dark chapter: Ian Cobain, the author of Anatomy of a Killing

Dark chapter: Ian Cobain, the author of Anatomy of a Killing

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Dark chapter: Ian Cobain, the author of Anatomy of a Killing

The murder of RUC Constable Millar McAllister was brutal and pitiless. His killer Harry Murray, a Protestant who had joined the IRA, had dressed in his best suit to trick the off-duty officer into opening the back door of his neat bungalow in Lisburn one Saturday lunchtime in 1978.

When the officer's seven-year-old son suddenly appeared at his father's side and looked inquisitively at the visitor, Murray had to decide whether or not to shoot the policeman in front of his son.

Because he was pretending to Millar, a popular figure in pigeon racing circles, that he was there to inquire about some birds, he suggested the lad go to fetch a pencil and paper to jot down a telephone number.


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