Belfast Telegraph

Cop killer has some brass neck

Editor's Viewpoint

IRA killer Seamus Kearney really has some gall. He was convicted of being part of the terrorist gang that killed a police officer who was leaving the bedside of his wife just after she had given birth to their son.

It was three decades later when he was jailed, with the judge telling him that the passage of 30 years had in no way diminished the brutality of the killing.

But now we learn that Kearney - who only had to serve two years of a life sentence under the early release terms of the Good Friday Agreement - has tried to bring a court case against his victim's widow for comments she made about him.

They were certainly strong words which June McMullin uttered and which were reported in this newspaper.

Kearney's solicitor complained to the PSNI - the irony of that seems to have escaped the complainant - which passed it on to the Public Prosecution Service for advice. Thankfully on this occasion the system has not let her down and it was decided to take no further action.

It seems perverse that someone who was part of a gang that lay in wait for another human being and then killed him without giving him any chance to defend himself should try to put the victim's widow in the dock.

Her crime - in his eyes - was to articulate in the plainest possible terms the anger and hurt that she still feels. There is a perception, as this newspaper has often said, that those bereaved or injured during the Troubles should swallow their hurt, forget their pain and go on quietly with life for the greater good.

But why should they not shout from the rooftops if they feel like it about the injustice that was done to them? Here is a woman who heard the shots that took her husband's life just minutes after he left her side on what should have been one of the happiest days of their lives. She saw his body being taken into the same hospital.

What justice did she receive? A man convicted of being involved in the killing served a paltry two years and during that time was allowed out on short home leaves. Sadly, the Prison Service forgot to tell her about his releases until she saw him on the street. Let us be clear. The victim in this instance was June McMullin, not Seamus Kearney. His pitiful attempt to prosecute her will rightly earn him more scorn from all right-thinking people.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph