Belfast Telegraph

Three released without charge in IRA informer Eamon Collins' murder probe

Murdered: Eamon Collins
Murdered: Eamon Collins
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

Three men arrested in connection with the 1999 murder of IRA informer Eamon Collins have been released without charge.

Police renewed their appeal for information on the 20th anniversary of his brutal killing, warning that the net was closing on those responsible.

Two men, aged 60 and 62, were arrested on May 15, and another 60-year-old man on May 21, but all three were released unconditionally after questioning.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: "Detectives from the legacy investigation branch investigating the murder of 45-year-old Eamon Collins in Newry on January 27, 1999, arrested two men, aged 60 and 62, on Wednesday, May 15, and a 60-year-old man on Tuesday, May 21, under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

"All three men were released unconditionally following interview at the serious crime suite at Musgrave Police Station."

The barbaric nature of the attack on Collins, who was once an IRA intelligence officer but had become one of the organisation's most outspoken critics, was laid bare in shocking detail at his inquest in 2007.

Coroner John Leckey said it was "one of the most ghastly, brutal murders" he had ever seen and he hoped the "sub-human thugs" responsible would be identified.

Father-of-four Collins was deliberately knocked down while out walking his dogs in the Doran's Hill area of Newry in a revenge attack for turning on his former comrades.

What followed was an assault later described as "grotesque" and thought to have been carried out by the Provisional IRA.

Collins was stabbed in the face and head numerous times until he was unrecognisable and his family was unable to have an open coffin for his funeral.

Police later recovered a DNA profile of one of the killers.

Officers believe the attacker in question suffered a serious injury in the incident.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph