The family of murdered Londonderry man Kieran Doherty have spoken for the first time to demand an inquiry into whether MI5 was involved in his death — and have strongly denied that the 31-year-old was involved in drugs.
The statement was issued last night through Derry journalist and campaigner Eamonn McCann.
A caller to a newroom in the city claimed that the Real IRA had carried out the attack.
“Kieran was not an informer and was in no way involved in drugs,” read the family statement.
Making startling claims about MI5 harassment, the statement continued: “Kieran was under continuous harassment by MI5 in the months before his death. Repeated attempts were made to recruit him as an informer. He rejected all these attempts. In the last few months of his life he went to the local media on more than one occasion to publicise and complain about MI5’s activities.
“Kieran was constantly followed. He believed that his phone calls and letters were being monitored. He wasn’t given a moment’s peace and was under 24/7 surveillance by MI5. We would like to know — where were the MI5 people who were monitoring his every movement on the night he was abducted and brutally murdered?”
The statement claimed that four weeks ago Mr Doherty had been approached and given a phone on which he was told to phone ‘Justin’, but he threw it back.
“The PSNI and others have been asking anybody who might have relevant information to come forward. Will they ask MI5 to produce ‘Justin’ so they can interview him and find out what they know about Kieran’s death?
“In the last months of his life Kieran was stressed out from the constant attention of the intelligence services. He lost weight, was hospitalised with depression.”
Comparing their son’s fate to that of murdered Sinn Fein informer Dennis Donaldson, the statement added: “People might think this is far-fetched, but it is reality. We ask everyone who has supported the family and expressed their disgust at the manner of Kieran’s death to support the demand for an inquiry.”
The family added that Kieran was a “good and decent man” trying to lead a normal life and looking forward to getting married and getting a job following his release from prison.
They added that contrary to some reports, Kieran was not a nephew of Paddy Ward, the Provisional IRA informer.