Belfast Telegraph

Probe into murder of SDLP woman's dad reopened after loyalist killer passes on information

Denise Mullen with mother Olive, brother Edward and father Denis
Denise Mullen with mother Olive, brother Edward and father Denis
Denise Mullen
Leona O'Neill

By Leona O'Neill

An investigation into the murder of an SDLP activist shot dead by a loyalist more than 40 years ago has been reopened after the killer passed on new information to his victim's daughter.

Denis Mullen, a father of two, was gunned down by the notorious Glenanne Gang at his home near Moy, Co Tyrone, in September 1975.

The move came a week after the victim's daughter, SDLP councillor Denise Mullen, gave video evidence to the PSNI's Legacy Investigation Branch about information she received from her father's UVF killer, Garfield Beattie.

Ms Mullen said the PSNI will be investigating the orchestration of violence and state collusion based on the information her father's killer gave her.

"He told me about another man who was involved in the orchestrating of my father's murder," she said. "He told me where he lives and details about him, but he would not tell me his name because he is still alive."

Back in September, Ms Mullen spent three hours at the home of Mr Beattie, who served 16 years behind bars for his part in her father's murder, which he said was part of his initiation into the UVF.

During their conversation, he gave her information about the murder of her father, including about the activities of the Glenanne Gang, the UVF chain of command and the circumstances that led to the killing.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, Ms Mullen said: "Two weeks ago I was called to Knockbreda PSNI station to record a video interview for evidence.

"This was based on what I had previously told them about what Garfield Beattie told me.

"I spent three hours with him in his house. He told me about other people who were involved in daddy's murder.

"He told me of the chain of command, where the order came from and how it came to be that he had to target my mother and father.

"He named Billy Corrigan, he was the head, and next in line to The Jackal.

"There are also some people who are still alive who were involved.

"My father's case is now live again because of the evidence that I gave the PSNI. They told me that they would be investigating it."

Detective Superintendent Ian Harrison, Deputy Head of the PSNI Legacy Investigation Branch, appealed for anyone who had information on the case to come forward.

"This murder investigation now sits within the caseload of Legacy Investigation Branch (LIB) for fresh consideration," he said.

"We remain committed to bringing to justice those responsible for this murder and would appeal to anyone with any information which may assist our inquiries to contact us.

"Where credible investigative lines of inquiry are identified, capable of leading to the identification and prosecution of suspects, we will follow them."

Mr Mullen (36) was shot dead at the front door of his family home on the night of September 1, 1975.

His wife Olive survived the shooting by running across the fields beside her home, while the murder gang fired 13 bullets at her. Denise, then aged four and now a Mid Ulster district councillor, stayed with her father's body until emergency services arrived.

The Glenanne Gang was a notoriously brutal and callous loyalist murder squad based at a farm in Mid Ulster.

The terror group, alleged to contain members of the RUC and UDR, was linked to more than 120 murders in the 1970s across Co Armagh and Tyrone, including outrages such as the Miami Showband massacre.

One of its most notorious members was Robin Jackson, also known as The Jackal, who died in 1998.

On Thursday night, Denise and other victims will be speaking at the Bomb and Bullet Legacy event in the Ryandale Inn in Moy. The event starts at 7.30pm and admission is free.

Belfast Telegraph


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