Republican News · Thursday 8 June 1999

[An Phoblacht]

Nationalist politician shot dead by loyalists

LOYALIST gunmen were almost certainly responsible for the assassination on Wednesday evening of John Turnly, founder member and joint chairman of the Irish Independence Party, which broke away from the collaborationist SDLP three years ago.

John Turnly had driven into Carnlough Village, County Antrim, for a meeting with other councillors to disuss new development schemes in the area. His wife and two small children were with him when three hooded gunmen struck as the car, driven by his wife, came to a halt in Harbour Road.

More than a dozen shots were fired and John Turnley was hit several times in the chest and body and died in the ambulance on the way to the Moyle Hospital in Larne. His wife was treated by a doctor at the scene.

The car used by the assassins was later found burned out on the Ballymena Road out of the village. Within the last two months, republican supporters and AP/RN sellers in Ballymena, Paisley's headquarters in his Antrim constituency, have been threatened with death by loyalist groups.

John Turnly joined the SDLP when he returned from a business career in Japan in 1972. Disillusioned by the pro-British policies of the SDLP, he and several other SDLP councillors split from the party and formed the IIP. Recently, the IIP have held talks with Neil Blaney's Independent group and are in the process of setting up a cross-border nationalist party. John Turnly had been active in building support for the National H-Block Committee's campaign on behalf of republican prisoners denied political status.

Phoblacht, Saturday 7 June 1980

Contents Page for this Issue
Reply to: Republican News