Irish Republican News · July 12, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
O’Loan investigates sniper death

The North’s Police Ombudsman, Mrs Nuala O’Loan, has launched an investigation into allegations that the British Army could have prevented the murder of a British soldier who was shot dead by an IRA sniper in south Armagh in 1997.

Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick was the last British soldier to die in the conflict before the IRA restored its ceasefire.

A former soldier, using the pseudonym Tony Buchanan, has reportedly claimed that two colleagues in a specialist surveillance unit said that they had been following the movements of the IRA sniper unit when the attack took place using “beacons” planted in the unit’s vehicle and weapons.

Commanders in the Tactical and Co-Coordinating Group (TCG) prohibited any intervention despite strong indications of an impending strike. “They said it was an administrative run by the IRA,” he told the Sunday Times.

Speculation has grown that the IRA attack was allowed to proceed to protect the identity of an informer.

The TCG, which included members of British military intelligence, was controlled by the police Special Branch. Because of this, Mrs O’Loan is able to investigate the Restorick murder.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News