Lawyers for the mother of Eoin Morley, an alleged victim of an IRA informer, are appealing a decision to deny them access to secret files in the possession of the Police Ombudsman.
Éilish Morley wants the documents to be opened to her as part of a lawsuit against the British Ministry of Defence and the PSNI over the killing of her 23-year-old son in Newry nearly 30 years ago.
She is also suing Peter Keeley, widely reported as the former British Army agent inside the Provisional IRA using the pseudonym Kevin Fulton, due to his alleged role.
Mr Morley was taken from his girlfriend’s house in Newry by masked men and shot twice on Easter Sunday 1990. He had been a member of the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO), a breakaway republican armed group.
An investigation by former Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan concluded that the RUC (now PSNI) failed to properly probe the killing.
Mrs Morley is seeking damages against the British government for either permitting the murder to take place or failing to take steps to prevent it. She also believes the RUC failed to carry out a proper investigation into the shooting, and that Special Branch intelligence officers withheld information.
Her legal team went before a High Court judge to appeal an initial refusal of their attempt to secure third-party discovery of documents held by the Ombudsman’s office. Part of the challenge was held behind closed doors due to “national security”.
With judgment in the appeal expected to be reserved, the lawsuit is due to be heard in full next year.
Outside court Mrs Morley’s lawyer, Kevin Winters of KRW Law, said: “This type of application is exceptional and unusual, given the background to the case.
“We say these documents are highly relevant to my client’s action and will help prove the case against all three defendants in relation to alleged collusion in the killing of her son.”