Family welcome IRA apology

The Provisional IRA has apologised to the family of a republican killed by its members 17 years ago.

Eoin Morley, a member of breakaway republican group the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation, was shot by the IRA at a house in Newry in April 1990.

The Provisional IRA said the murder was not sanctioned by its leadership.

“The killing of Eoin Morley was wrong,” the statement reads.

“The IRA leadership offers its apologies to the Morley family for the grief and pain they have suffered as a result of our actions and the subsequent false allegations levelled against Eoin Morley.”

The IRA said they had looked into the circumstances of Mr Morley’s killing following a meeting with his mother.

Although it was alleged at the time he was an informer, they accepted in 1992 the allegations were “incorrect and totally inaccurate”.

Mr Morley’s family have always maintained he was murdered by informers shielded by RUC/PSNI Special Branch.

In a statement last night, the Morley family has welcomed the apology , saying it confirmed what they had “known for years”.

“Seventeen years have passed since Eoin was shot on Easter Sunday 1990,” the statement reads.

We understand that it would have been easier for the Provisional “movement to continue with the charade that were the ever changing ‘reasons’ given to try to justify Eoin’s murder.

“For the PIRA to take the unprecedented step of fully retracting the explanation given at the time and in subsequent statements, and to apologise for what happened is a bold move and we, Eoin’s family, welcome it.

“We have always known that the PIRA did not sanction Eoin’s murder. Privately many members of the Provisional movement confirmed this and expressed their disgust at what happened. From the outset we suspected that Eoin died at the hands of British agents.

“Sadly history has proved us right. The statement from the IRA, and the recent investigation from the police ombudsman, Nuala O’Loan, confirm what we, Eoin’s family, and Republicans in Newry have known for years.

“Eoin was an active republican. The only people to benefit from his murder were the enemies of Republicanism. It has now been established that the RUC Special Branch shielded Eoin’s killers, helping them to plan the killing and avoid prosecution, even though a wealth of evidence was available against them.

“Collusion took many forms throughout the conflict, from the blatant targeting of Catholics by the RUC and their loyalist allies, to the age old tactic of using paid agents planted within the IRA and other Republican groups, who were used to agitate from within, all to a FRU and RUC special branch agenda.

“Eoin was murdered on Easter Sunday, still wearing his Easter lilly on his lapel. Easter Sunday is a day that is special to all Republicans. On that day we remember all those throughout the years who made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of the goals laid out in the proclamation of 1916. Eoin Morley also paid the ultimate price, murdered by British agents because he dared to take up the fight. On this Easter Sunday, and every one to follow, we the Morley family will remember them all.”

A report published by the Police Ombudsman two years ago found the police investigation into the murder had significant shortcomings, including a failure to arrest individuals, despite strong intelligence linking them to the crime.

Mrs O’Loan last month confirmed that her office has begun an investigation into a number of murders, including that of Mr Morley, which are linked to IRA informers who were shielded by the RUC Special Branch from murder charges.

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