Belfast Telegraph

Police examining Provo turned lawyer Kieran Conway claims over IRA operations involvement

Conway says he took part in bombings, shootings and armed robberies

By Jonny Bell

Police are examining claims made by the former IRA man turned lawyer Kieran Conway over his admissions of involvement in operations for the terrorist organisation during the Troubles.

Dubliner Kieran Conway, who admitted in his autobiography - Southside Provisional - that he was an IRA member for more than 20 years, revealed last week that he took part in fatal gun attacks.

He further claimed he was involved in carrying out "five or six" bombings.

More: Provo Kieran Conway turned lawyer must be probed over claims, says Ross Hussey

The former intelligence officer in the IRA, Speaking on Tuesday morning's Stephen Nolan show, also admitted to being involved in gun battles in which British soldiers died - but said he could not be sure if it was his bullets that were responsible.

He outlined how he planted a "small number of bombs" in commercial premises.

"You would have been concerned there would be no civilians injured and then ensure your own safety in getting away and in that order.

"It was IRA procedure to give warnings. There were mistakes for example in Birmingham, Coleraine, Claudy."

On deaths of innocent people during the Troubles, the bomber said it was "unfortunate".

"That's what happens in war or revolution," he added.

"It was a just war that ended in total defeat for us."

In taking part in armed robberies, he said he had some regret at pointing a gun at a bank cashier adding: "The IRA needed money and theses things happen in a revolution.

He also said he could not be extradited for questioning and that there was "no evidence" against him, that's despite his own admissions and that while he knew of those involved in the Birmingham pub bombs, which killed 21, injured hundreds more and sent six to prison for life, he had no intention of "fingering" IRA men.

"They would have to prosecute me for crimes against a person unknown, in a place unknown and at a time unknown, which would be a stretch even for the British justice system.

"They have no evidence unless I make a confession, which I won't be doing."

The lawyer denied he was a "psychopath" when it was put to him, saying

The lawyer also said the Kingsmills massacre was "most definitely a war crime" as too was using people for proxy bombs and killing Protestants in retaliation for Catholic murders. 

"I have no guilt," he told Stephen Nolan, "what I do have is a huge general remorse for all that were killed. This was a conflict not worth a drop of blood."

The Department of Justice said the revelations were a matter for the PSNI.

A spokesman said: "Whilst the Justice Minister cannot comment on specific cases or allegations she would encourage anyone with information that would help resolve outstanding legacy cases to provide that information to the relevant authorities.“

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, head of the PSNI’s Legacy and Justice Department, said: “We are currently examining everything that has been said by Mr Conway in order to ascertain what investigative opportunities will be progressed.

“Where appropriate, all actions will be considered if the evidence exists to do so.”

Earlier this week Ulster Unionist Ross Hussey said investigations into legacy cases from the Troubles would be brought into "disrepute" if the the legal authorities did not attempt to question Mr Conway over his activities.

"It is high time Mr Conway was made accountable for his actions," he said.

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