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Rosemary Nelson 'passed information to IRA terrorists'

The inquiry into the murder of Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson has heard allegations she passed confidential case information to IRA members.

The BBC also reported that a police officer also said Special Branch had information Mrs Nelson had been having an affair with Colin Duffy, described as a prominent IRA member.

Barra McGrory, solicitor for the Nelson family, said there was “no evidential basis for this belief”.

Mrs Nelson (40), died in a loyalist bomb attack in Lurgan in March 1999.

The inquiry heard evidence from a police officer who had been working in Special Branch in Lurgan in the mid-1990s.

He told the inquiry that he would not have considered Mrs Nelson a terrorist, as he believed a terrorist to be someone who is engaged in bombing or violence.

However, he described her as “certainly assisting terrorists in the area”.

He said he had no recollection of tasking a source to find out information on Mrs Nelson, but told the inquiry that Special Branch officers had received information that Mrs Nelson had been having an affair with Colin Duffy.

The officer said he had received intelligence that Mrs Nelson and Mr Duffy had met in a discreet location called Demesne Avenue, which was described as a loyalist area.

However, Mr McGrory, who represents Mrs Nelson's family, said: “There is no evidential basis for this belief which is apparently held on the strength of unnamed and unidentified sources who for all we know could have been from the loyalist community who were deliberately spreading these malicious rumours about Rosemary Nelson.”

Retired judge Sir Michael Morland is chairing a three-strong panel examining alleged security force collusion in the murder.

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