Hope for Jordan family as inquest opens
Hope for Jordan family as inquest opens


A fresh inquest into the controversial killing of an IRA Volunteer almost 25 years ago opened in Belfast week.

Pearse Jordan was 23 years old when he was shot dead by the RUC after they rammed the stolen car he was travelling in on the city’s Falls Road in November 1992.

Confronted with eight armed RUC men there was little he could do to escape. Witnesses later said that Mr Jordan, who was from Ballymurphy, was shot three times in the back as he ran away.

The findings of an inquest heard in front of a jury in 2012 were quashed two years later after a legal challenge by the Jordan family.

Last week a High Court judge ruled that the Mr Jordan’s parents, Hugh and Teresa, should be allowed to see the man who killed their son and other RUC men on condition they do not describe their appearance or demeanour to members of the public. Normally police and British army witnesses are shielded from public view.

Earlier this week a former RUC man, Officer D admitted that Mr Jordan has been shot in the back, despite initially saying he did not accept that.

Two former RUC policemen who were present also admitted to the inquest they didn’t hear any challenges or warnings being shouted.

The witnesses known as Officers E and ‘F, were travelling in the second of two cars ordered to stop the red Ford Orion being driven by Mr Jordan. They initially denied the Ballymurphy man was shot in the back.

Counsel for the Jordan family put it to Officer E that no-one was “prepared to say they saw Mr Jordan shot in the back because you needed to make up a story to justify the shooting”.

Officer F says he felt in imminent danger until Mr Jordan turned away. However, he could not explain why he had not opened fire if that was the case.

It was also put to ‘F’ that he and the shooter had used the trip back to base to agree how to account for the shooting, as they had shot an unarmed man who presented no threat. ‘F’ denied this claiming that there had been little talk in the car. Counsel put it to him that this was, like much of his testimony, scarcely credible.

On Wednesday, a former RUC inspector, known only as Officer M, told the court that he failed to tell the truth about a murderous shoot-to-kill operation a decade before Mr Jordan was killed, in which 17-year-old Michael Tighe died. He later said: “I didn’t make up the story, I was directed by senior officers”.

Officer M was also involved in several other controversial state killings. He held a command position on the night Mr Jordan was shot dead and was located in a control room directing Headquarters Mobile Support Unit (HMSU) officers under his command. He faced lengthy questioning about why his unit’s log only began to record events a short time before Mr Jordan was killed.

The next witnesses will give evidence on Monday with the shooter, Sergeant A, due to take the stand on Tuesday. Fearghal Shiels, of Madden and Finucane Solicitors, said the Jordan family are hopeful they will establish how their son died.

“The Jordans have taken countless legal challenges domestically and to the European court to ensure that they receive a full and fair inquest and they are confident that the full circumstances of how Pearse was killed will emerge,” he said.

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© 2016 Irish Republican News