| 16.6°C Belfast

Calls for Shankill bomber Sean Kelly to return to prison following supermarket scuffle

Justice Minister reports matter to police


Shankill bomber Sean Kelly being restrained during a confrontation in shops in Ardoyne

Shankill bomber Sean Kelly being restrained during a confrontation in shops in Ardoyne

Shankill bomber Sean Kelly being restrained during a confrontation in shops in Ardoyne

The families of the victims of the Shankill bombing have called for bomber Sean Kelly to be recalled to prison after an incident outside a Belfast supermarket.

Justice minister Naomi Long also tweeted that she had reported the incident to police after seeing the footage.

The PSNI is investigating after video footage appeared online showing Kelly being restrained by passers-by outside the Eurospar at the Flax Centre in Ardoyne on Saturday.

The mass killer was pictured wielding a stick after a customer was asked to leave the Eurospar. Several men and women restrained ex-IRA prisoner Kelly, who was in an agitated state.

Sunday Life reported that he reacted to a comment made during the scuffle.

Mobile phone footage of the row has since been viewed thousands of times.

A statement, which was signed by the families of the innocent victims murdered in the Shankill bomb, said: “It has been almost 27 years since Sean Kelly and the Provisional IRA murdered our loved ones on the Shankill Road in October 1993.

“Twenty-seven years on, and we see Mr Kelly clearly intent on inflicting injury to another member of the public.

“We therefore call upon the Secretary of State to revoke Mr Kelly’s licence and return him to prison.”

Justice Minister Naomi Long said it was important police looked into the incident.

"The context, time and when it was filmed is not clear from the tweet," she told BBC Radio Foyle.

A PSNI spokesman added: “Police are aware of a video posted on a social media platform on Saturday, May 2.

“An investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident has commenced.

“Enquiries are continuing.”

Kelly (47), who works at the Flax Centre Eurospar, murdered nine innocent people in the October 1993 Shankill bomb in which fellow IRA member Thomas Begley died.

More than 50 others were maimed in the no warning blast, for which he received nine life sentences.

Kelly was released early in 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

In 2013, he publicly apologised for the slaughter, although this was rejected by the families.

Sinn Fein used Kelly to canvass in North Belfast for John Finucane ahead of the General Election last December. It was reported the convicted bomber had been seen erecting election posters and distributing leaflets.

Mr Finucane went on to oust long time DUP MP Nigel Dodds from the North Belfast seat.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald rejected DUP criticism at the time, insisting Kelly, who was convicted for his part in the 1993 bomb, was a supporter of the peace process and had expressed regret over the attack on the fish shop, which killed nine Protestants.

The Northern Ireland Office has been approached for comment.

Belfast Telegraph