Writer to testify over UDA killing of Belfast postman Daniel McColgan: author will reveal findings of his own probe into 2002
The author of a book about the UDA is to give evidence at the inquest of a Belfast postal worker who was murdered by loyalists.
However, anyone arrested and questioned about the loyalist murder of father-of-one Daniel McColgan will not be called to give evidence, a coroner has ruled.
Mr McColgan was gunned down by a UDA gang as he arrived for work at a sorting office in the loyalist Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey on the outskirts of Belfast 12 years ago. No one has been convicted of the sectarian murder of the 22-year-old Catholic.
Lawyers for his family had requested that individuals who were detained and quizzed by police, but ultimately not charged, should be called as witnesses to the inquest, which is scheduled to start on December 1.
But Northern Ireland's senior Coroner John Leckey rejected their submission, noting that people who had not been charged over killings had not been called to other inquests.
"I'm not going to go down that path," he told the family's barrister Andrew Moriarty at a preliminary hearing in Belfast.
At a hearing earlier this year Mr Moriarty had suggested that, according to press archives, 12 people had been detained and questioned by detectives since the murder.
Mr Leckey continued: "This is something that has arisen in countless other inquests.
"And as far as I'm concerned people brought in by the police for questioning but against whom charges are not raised are not called as witnesses."
However, Mr Leckey did agree to another request from the family to add Edinburgh-based author Ian S Wood – who wrote a book about the UDA – to the witness list.
Mr Wood penned Crimes Of Loyalty: A History Of The UDA, which was published in 2006. A section of the book refers to Mr McColgan's murder and the bereaved family want the author to give evidence on what his investigations had uncovered. Mr Leckey said he had no issue with the writer appearing at the inquest.
"I won't object to him being a witness and I know he doesn't personally raise any objection to travelling over to Northern Ireland to give evidence," he said.