Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of IRA murder of Mary Travers dies

Mary Travers
Mary Travers
Ann Travers
Joseph Haughey.

A man once charged in connection with the IRA attack which killed Mary Travers and seriously injured her father, magistrate Tom Travers has died.

Joseph ‘the Hawk’ Haughey was charged with being one of the perpetrators in the attack in April 1984. He had always denied a role in the killing.

In April 1984 two IRA gunmen ambushed the Travers family as they left Mass at St Brigid's church on Derryvolgie Avenue, killing 22-year-old teacher Mary and leaving her father, a prominent magistrate fighting for his life after being shot six times. Mother Joan escaped with her life after a gun pointed at her head misfired twice.

At his trial Haughey, then aged 33, was identified by Mr Travers as being the man who killed his daughter.

However, he was acquitted after doubt was cast over Mr Travers' identification of the gunman.

Only the former Sinn Fein special adviser Mary McArdle was jailed for her role in the ambush. Aged 19 at the time she was arrested shortly after the attack and two guns and a wig used by one of the two gunmen found strapped to her thighs. She was jailed for life but was freed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement after serving 14 years.

In a tweet victims' campaigner Ann Travers revealed that she had learned of Haughey’s death at the age of 66 on Wednesday, she paid tribute to her late "gorgeous" father, sister and mother, Joan.

"Violence achieves nothing. It destroys all lives. #NeverAgain," she tweeted.

Joseph Haughey.
Joseph Haughey.
Mary Travers, with her parents, was killed by the IRA
Mary Travers, who was murdered by the IRA as she walked home from Mass with her father Thomas and mother Joan
Mary Travers' coffin is carried from the church
Mary Travers' mother and sister Ann during the funeral
Joan Travers passed away peacefully last week

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