TDs urged to support campaign for truth

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Members of the Dublin parliament have been briefed on the murder of two Catholic teenagers in which collusion is alleged between the British state and unionist paramilitaries.

The two friends, Gavin McShane (pictured) and Shane McArdle, both aged 17 and from Markethill, were murdered as they stood in a taxi depot in Armagh town on May 18 1994.

The killer, who was not masked, shot both teenagers once in the head as they played a computer game in the depot.

Mr McShane’s mother Maria has campaigned for justice since the killings, which took place just a few months before the main armed groups in the conflict announced a ceasefire. She was previously targeted herself in 1976, losing an eye during the notorious bombing of the Step Inn Bar in Keady, in which collusion is also alleged.

All the main parties in the 26 Counties were present at the meeting, which was hosted by Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy.

Mark Thompson from Relatives for Justice, which published a report into the killings two years ago, said the double murder sent shockwaves through the community.

“These murders, which remain unsolved, were part of a wider series of executions, carried out during the early 1990s and attributed to the Mid-Ulster UVF,” he said.

“Subsequent investigations and material emanating from inquests indicate that the gang was heavily infiltrated by the British intelligence agencies and operated with impunity.”

He said the support of TDs and senators was being sought for “an independent Article Two compliant inquiry into the circumstances of Gavin and Shane’s murders”.

Mr Carthy, who is a TD for Cavan/Monaghan, described the case as tragic and said all the main parties had been invited to take part.

“The RFJ report raises concerns with suggestions the gang involved were involved with British intelligence agencies and it’s clear the family of Gavin McShane are entitled to the truth of who was behind the killing of their beloved son,” he said.

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