Irish Republican News · November 12, 2016
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Tribute to Jordan family as justice fight goes on
Tribute to Jordan family as justice fight goes on

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The family of Pearse Jordan have vowed to continue their fight for justice after a coroner concluded he could not say whether his killing by the RUC police was justified.

The west Belfast man’s family said they were “very disappointed” by the outcome of the fresh inquest, although they welcomed a finding that the state failed to prove the RUC had acted lawfully.

Pearse, a young IRA Volunteer, was shot dead after the car he was travelling in was rammed by Crown forces on the Falls Road in 1992. He was shot after getting out of the car when he tried to run away.

At a hearing in March, his parents Teresa and Hugh came face to face with the former RUC man who said he had “no regrets” over killing the Ballymurphy republican. The family said on Monday that they still believe the killing was unjustified and unjustifiable.

“The evidence before the coroner demonstrated that Pearse was shot in the back, while running away from the RUC, and that he was unarmed,” they said. Their lawyer Fearghal Shiels said they would closely study the findings and will consider further legal action.

This was the third inquest after findings of a previous inquest in 2012 were quashed. An original inquest was adjourned in 1995 after being only partly heard. In 2014, the Jordan family were awarded compensation for the lengthy hold-ups in concluding an inquest.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Pat Sheehan said on Monday night that the coroner’s findings “did not go far enough”.

“It did not find, as the evidence clearly set out, that the shooting of Pearse Jordan was unjustified,” he said.

There have been calls for two former RUC men to be investigated for perverting the course of justice and perjury. Lawyers have also sought anonymity orders protecting the identities of the two men to be lifted. Justice Horner said the men had been “untruthful” and that one or both may have edited log books.

Karen Quinlivin QC said: “It is in the public interest in people knowing and having information about wrongdoing.

“The allegation is that two police officers perverted the course of justice in a murder inquiry - that’s not minor, that’s serious - and thereafter perjured themselves in an inquest.”

Relatives for Justice paid tribute to Pearse’s parents and said the account of his death had been difficult to hear.

“Their son was one young man confronted by a vast state apparatus observing his movements and choosing its moment to strike,” they said.

“The visible state apparatus involved two vehicles full of well-armed and experienced RUC men.

“The invisible state apparatus involved a prolonged surveillance operation with communication back to a command room in east Belfast where senior officers monitored and instructed their visible operatives.

“Pearse had no chance. The evidence accepted by the judge was that he was shot in the back while running away from the armed RUC-men. It was accepted that he was no threat to them; the RUC claim that he was armed and that the car he was in contained a bomb were proved untrue.

“These officers knew they would not be made accountable.”

They concluded: “We pay tribute to Pearse’s parents, Theresa and Hugh, who have taken on the state and sought to protect the rights of others at risk from the state. Tragically, Pearse is dead; his parents’ selfless fight was in the service of the rest of us.”

© 2016 Irish Republican News