Civil case against state agents blamed for 100 deaths
Civil case against state agents blamed for 100 deaths


A sectarian killer who wrote his nickname on the road at the scene of a ghoulish killing is to be the subject of a civil action by the family of the victim after they were failed by the criminal justice system.

North Belfast man Aubrey Tarr, whose nickname was ‘The Pope,’ was one of four loyalists, all working for the Crown forces, who abducted and murdered 17-year-old Ciaran Murphy four decades ago.

The UVF killer wrote his ‘calling card’ nickname on the road close to where his victim was shot dead.

It is believed Tarr was called ‘The Pope’ by other loyalists because he enjoyed killing Catholics.

In 1978 he admitted killing Mr Murphy and two other Catholic men, Patrick Courtney and William Tierney near Belfast International Airport almost a month later, in November 1974.

A first cousin of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, Ciaran (pictured, right) was abducted by a three-man UVF gang as he walked from a Chinese takeaway on the Antrim Road on October 13, 1974.

He was then driven to a loyalist club by the gang who went on an unsuccessful search for a murder weapon.

After failing to get a gun from UVF bosses, the gang then travelled to the Tyndale area of north Belfast where they met a notorious UDA killer known as the ‘Window Cleaner’.

It is believed he supplied the Luger pistol used to kill Mr Murphy and fired the fatal shots at an isolated area on the Hightown Road on the outskirts of north Belfast.

Another suspect was convicted of a string of sectarian murders in 1978, but not that of Mr Murphy.

The final suspect, who is believed to have owned the vehicle used to abduct Mr Murphy, is from a well-known loyalist family. A close relative was convicted of a brutal sectarian murder carried out in 1973.

Mr Murphy’s nephew Niall O Murchu, who is part of the legal team preparing the family’s case at Padraig O Muirigh Solicitors, said a former Historical Enquiries Team officer “confirmed that all four people in the car were informers and agents of one level or another”.

“The family will be launching civil proceedings in the next month or two against everybody who was in the car and whose names are known to us all,” he said.

Mr O Murchu said the killers may have been involved in as many as 100 murders.

Mr Murphy’s brother Pat said the case showed that the “British establishment.. are in blood up to their elbows.”

He said that he wants to see the killers’ Crown force handlers held to account.

“They hypocritically claim they were the good guys but they were protagonists in this and they are the ones I want the spotlight to shine on,” he said.

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