Family’s collusion concerns on 30th anniversary

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The family of a former republican prisoner shot dead while under British Army surveillance 30 years ago believe the British Army’s Force Research Unit may have been involved.

Sam Marshall was shot by two masked gunmen seconds outside Lurgan RUC police barracks on March 7 1990. His brother-in-law Tony McCaughey and Lurgan republican Colin Duffy were with him as he attended the station to answer bail conditions.

A 2012 Historical Enquiries Team (HET) report confirmed that the three men were under close Crown Force surveillance when the attack took place.

It also emerged that two undercover British soldiers with camera equipment were in an observation post at the RUC station as the three men arrived and left.

At least two of the undercover soldiers “witnessed” the attack, which was blamed on loyalist paramilitaries.

Mr Marshall’s case is one of more than 50 legacy inquests which have been stalled for decades.

Mr Marshall’s brother John has spoken of his family’s frustration that an inquest has yet to be held. “We are still waiting on an inquest after 30 years,” he said.

Mr Marshall said his family has no doubt there was collusion and believes the British army’s undercover Force Research Unit may have been involved.

“We all know it,” he said. “The more I think about the FRU was involved in it.” He added that on the night his brother was killed there was tension in the air. “That night in Lurgan you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife,” he said.

Saoradh’s Mandy Duffy, the wife of Colin Duffy, described the 1990 attack as a “blatant act of collusion”.

“Thoughts are with his brave family who have never wavered in their quest for justice,” she wrote. “You are spoke of often Sam.”

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