Belfast Telegraph

IRA linked to 45 violent post-ceasefire deaths

By Rebecca Black

The Provisional IRA has been linked to at least 45 violent deaths since it declared a halt to its armed campaign exactly 21 years ago.

The ceasefire was declared to great fanfare and celebration in many nationalist areas of Belfast and Londonderry on August 31, 1994.

But since then the Provisionals have turned their guns time and time again on members of their own community.

In some cases the terror group acted as judge, jury and executioner as it dealt out its own deadly version of justice to drug dealers. In other cases, it claimed those they murdered were informers, while some are believed to have been killed simply for disrespecting IRA members or refusing to pay protection money.

The post-ceasefire death toll includes 33-year-old Andy Kearney from Twinbrook who died on July 20, 1997 after being targeted in a so-called punishment shooting. The father-of-four was overpowered with chloroform, then shot in each knee and one ankle before he died from his injuries.

Taxi driver Charles Bennett (22) was abducted from his west Belfast home by the IRA, bound, gagged and shot in the head. His body was dumped in a car park.

South Armagh man Paul Quinn was beaten to death on October 20, 2007 in Co Monaghan. His parents Breege and Stephen said their son had had a number of run-ins with the IRA and even been ordered to leave the country. The Independent Monitoring Commission confirmed the gang that killed Paul included members and former members of IRA.

One of the most infamous post- ceasefire IRA murders was of Robert McCartney (33) on January 31, 2005, who was stabbed to death following an argument in a Belfast city centre bar. Most of the 71 witnesses in the bar claimed to police they were in the pub toilets at the time. Security camera footage was also removed from the bar and staff threatened. No one was ever convicted of the murder.

Similarly, in most post-ceasefire IRA murders police struggled to secure convictions. There was a small number of convictions for lesser offences, but only one IRA member, Bernard Dempsey (57) from Dublin, was convicted of murder, for shooting dead James Curran in Dublin on April 5, 2005.

Belfast Telegraph


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