Irish Republican News · January 9, 2008
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Republican denies working as informer

High-profile republican Paddy Murray has denied being a police informer.

Facing charges of assault dating from Septemeber 2005, a recent court appearance was overshadowed by claims that he was in protective police custody after been described by some republicans as an informer.

After being freed on bail ahead of his sentencing next week, Murray was escorted back to the cells at Belfast Crown Court by prison warders.

The Police Ombudsman is currently investigating allegations that the PSNI failed to charge Murray despite DNA being found on incendiary devices recovered in Ballymena, County Antrim, in 2005.

Murray, who was sentenced to 25 years for possession of an IRA bomb in 1994, was arrested in connection with the Ballymena bomb factory but released without charge.

Speaking for the first time since the allegations Murray said: “The so-called forensic evidence that has been talked about so much was Low Copy Number DNA.

“After the Omagh trial LCN DNA evidence has been totally discredited so that rules that theory out.

“It doesn’t make me an informer. It just means there was no evidence to charge me.”

The veteran republican, originally from west Belfast, has lived in Antrim town since his release from prison under the Good Friday Agreement in 2000.

Following his release he began working for Sinn Féin as an election agent for Martin Meehan, who died of a heart attack last November.

Murray later became involved with militant republicans and has been linked to the ‘Real IRA’.

He also helped organised meetings opposing Sinn Féin’s stance on policing.

“I believe I have been targeted because of my past history with Sinn Féin. If they can use this tactic to get rid of me successfully then they’ll use it again with other anti-agreement republicans,” Murray said.

“Recent events have been stage managed for maximum public effect and I can understand why people would think there is no smoke without fire.

“But what I would say is - where is the evidence?

“As part of my bail conditions police objected to me entering Derry. Now surely if I was an agent they would have wanted me in Derry meeting other republicans and gathering information.

“If I was an agent then why haven’t I taken my family and gone into protective custody?”

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