Belfast Telegraph

McGuinness urged to help inquiry

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has been challenged to help with a new investigation into the murder of a young mother shot dead by the IRA in Londonderry 30 years ago.

Joanne Mathers, 29, was gunned down by the Provisionals while collecting census forms in the city.

The killing is now being probed by the Historical Enquiries Team, a unit set up to reopen investigations into unsolved murders.

A call by her husband Lowry for the fresh probe has been backed by east Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell and on Thursday night Tom Elliott, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said Mr McGuinness, a former IRA leader in Derry, should assist.

Mr Elliott said: "It is long past time he came clean about what he knows about the crimes committed by the IRA in Londonderry whilst he was in command."

Mrs Mathers was shot dead in April 1981. Her only child, Shane, was just 10 months old at the time. She worked as a planning officer before giving birth.

Mr Mathers said:"I don't care about myself. It's a shame that he (Shane) had to grow up without his mother. It was a terrible loss for him. Every time I look at him, I see his mother.

"As far as I am concerned there was no justice for Shane - no-one was ever convicted. The only thing they told me was that the gun used had been used in two punishment attacks."

He told the Londonderry Sentinel newspaper: "There are boys in Derry or Londonderry, whatever you want to call it, who know who did this. Somebody ordered it to be done and the person who carried it out knows exactly what he did. The person who ordered this is every bit as guilty as the person who carried it out.

"I wouldn't want to have their conscience. But, there will come a day when they will meet their maker and they will have to answer for it then."


From Belfast Telegraph