Progress in legal battle over SAS killings

The planning and control of controversial British military operations in Ireland could be examined by coroners after a landmark ruling allowed relatives of two IRA men shot dead by the British Army’s ‘elite’ SAS unit to take their case to Britain’s highest court.

Senior judges have granted leave for lawyers representing the families of Dessie Grew and Martin McCaughey to take their case to the Supreme Court in a legal battle over inquests into the killings.

Their lawyer Fearghal Shiels said the decision had profound implications for nearly 20 similar coroners’ court hearings.

“It may change the issues inquests may explore, including the planning and control of security operations. It may make for more effective inquests as far as families are concerned,” he said.

Mr Grew and McCaughey were gunned down by the SAS near Loughgall in 1990.

It is believed the building they were killed outside at Lislasley, County Armagh, had been under surveillance. Three AK47 assault rifles were found nearby afterwards.

It is believed the building at Lislasley, County Armagh, they were killed outside had been under surveillance. Three AK47 assault rifles were found nearby afterwards.

Four soldiers fired 72 rounds at the two men. Autopsy reports showed Grew sustained 48 wounds while McCaughey was shot by 10 bullets.

Their deaths, part of a series of shootings which led to allegations of the shoot-to-kill policy by the British Crown forces, are currently being reinvestigated.

Mr Shiels said the McCaughey case could go to the European Court of Human Rights after the matter was lodged with it last year.

“This is the second time they have had to go to the Supreme Court/House of Lords,” he added.

“They are pleased that the case has been referred but they are frustrated that it has been 20 years this October since their son and brother was killed.”

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