THE fiancee of a soldier murdered by INLA hitman Declan 'Whacker' Duffy has welcomed his return to Maghaberry Prison.
Elizabeth Robinson, who was engaged to slain Sergeant Michael Newman, said: "It's a small crumb of comfort to know he is back in jail, but at least he will be able to get visits and have contact with his family.
"I will never get to see Michael again, nor will his parents. What he did was beyond a crime."
Duffy was returned to Northern Ireland two weeks ago having served a six-year prison sentence for false imprisonment and assault in the Republic.
He will now have to complete the remainder of a minimum 24-year life term for the 1992 INLA murder of Sergeant Newman in Derbyshire.
Duffy (46), from Armagh, was convicted of the killing in 2010, but was released two years later under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. However, his licence was revoked in 2016 after his convictions in Dublin. He was taken to Maghaberry Prison 11 days ago and faces the prospect of being locked up until 2042.
Elizabeth Robinson says she no longer has any feelings towards the thug, having spent the past three decades mourning the loss of Sgt Newman.
"Whatever happens to him, I will never get justice because no one can bring Michael back," the nurse told Sunday Life.
"I have no feelings towards Duffy, what I will say is that it is disgraceful the time it has taken to extradite him back to the UK."
At the time of the Sgt Newman murder, Duffy was part of an INLA cell operating in England along with Joseph Magee, who had family ties in Derby and who was also sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing.
Police believe they were driven away from the scene by Anthony 'Fanta' Gorman (51), who was caged for five years by a Dublin Court in 1995 for having 26 weapons, including Kalashnikovs, M3 machine-guns, and 2,500 rounds of INLA ammunition.
During his time in Portlaoise Prison, he was the INLA's second-in-command and involved in the Good Friday Agreement early release negotiations with the Irish government.
Gorman was named as the Sgt Newman getaway driver by dead INLA assassin Neil Sheridan. In letters sent to journalists from prison, he wrote: "(Declan) Duffy told me that he was the gunman who murdered Michael Newman in Derby in 1992 and that Anthony Gorman had been the getaway driver."
Gorman, from Armagh, lives 20 miles across the border in Bailieborough, where he works as an artist.
Elizabeth Robinson has previously campaigned for his extradition - proceedings issued in Dublin's High Court in 2009 were abandoned - but she now accepts that is unlikely to ever happen.
"Even if Gorman were to be extradited and convicted of Michael's murder, he would only have to serve a two-year jail sentence before getting out because of the Good Friday Agreement," she told Sunday Life.
"I can't imagine how hard it is for people in Northern Ireland to see the killers of their relatives and friends released early from jail. I really feel for them."
Duffy is one of the most notorious paramilitaries to emerge from the Troubles.
He led an INLA mob that was involved in a horrific 1999 gang fight with rival criminals in Dublin that became known as the Ballymount Bloodbath.
Belfast man Paul Campbell, an INLA member, was killed during the brawl after being stabbed with a machete.
Duffy was convicted of false imprisonment and possession of a handgun and jailed for nine years. He was released in 2007 and resumed control of the INLA in Dublin. In 2009, Duffy dissociated himself from the gang having admitted a membership charge for which he was caged for four years.
After being freed, the thug was sent to prison for a further six years on a false imprisonment charge. That sentence elapsed earlier this month, with Duffy immediately extradited to Northern Ireland to serve the remainder of his 24-year jail term for the murder of Sgt Newman.