Belfast Telegraph

Roseann Mallon murder: MoD files on slain pensioner still not handed to inquest

Lesley-Anne McKeown

Uncensored documents relating to the murder of pensioner Roseann Mallon have still not been disclosed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), even though her inquest has entered its second week, a Coroner's Court has heard.

Barrister Fiona Doherty said some Army logs from a secret surveillance operation mounted in the area where the 76-year-old was shot dead had not been received by legal representatives for the Mallon family.

She said: "There is no reason why these unredacted logs could not be handed over."

Ms Mallon, a spinster, was gunned down by the UVF on May 8, 1994.

She had been staying with her sister-in-law and was watching TV in the living room of the house at Cullenrammer Road, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, when two gunmen opened fire indiscriminately spraying the property with bullets.

Ms Mallon was hit multiple times and died at the scene.

The case is shrouded in controversy after military spying equipment was found in a nearby field, sparking claims the security forces colluded with the killers.

High Court Judge Mr Justice Weir, who is hearing the non-jury inquest, told MoD lawyers they should adopt an "open book" approach to the proceedings.

"You should put your cards face up, otherwise people imagine things are hidden underneath them," said Judge Weir.

The judge also said that in some instances names had been unnecessarily blanked out on documents.

"Sometimes there is a feeling that people are perhaps over-protective," he added.

The UVF claimed responsibility for the Catholic pensioner's murder and said its mid-Ulster brigade had been targeting her relatives, who were involved in the republican movement.

The inquest is one of 29 controversial Troubles-related legacy cases and has been awaiting a full hearing for almost two decades.

Earlier, the court heard how the secret camera would have been incapable of filming the murder scene.

Colin Deegan, a former sergeant with the King's Regiment who had installed the surveillance equipment on April 20, 1994, said it was focused on engineering works adjacent to the bungalow where Ms Mallon was killed.

When asked by Dennis Rooney, barrister for the MoD, if it was possible to see anyone running to the left or front of the house, Mr Deegan said: "No."

Mr Deegan, who was previously known as as Soldier B, said that filming the engineering works had been his priority.

"That was my priority. Yes," he added.

It was also revealed that the camera equipment, worth £19,988, could only operate during daylight and would have been affected by bad weather, poor light or wildlife.

On the night of the murder, the inquest was told that the camera was not recording from 9.28pm because it was dark.

The inquest continues.

Belfast Telegraph


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