British secrecy and cover-up has increased ahead of the inquest into the 1997 murder of Seamus Dillon by a loyalist murder gang.
The former republican prisoner was shot dead by the paramilitary Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) as he worked as a nightclub doorman at the Glengannon Hotel in Dungannon. The attack was supposedly a revenge attack for the killing of the LVF leader Billy Wright inside Long Kesh prison.
An inquest into the murder of the 45-year-old father of three is due to commence next April, but the volume of “sensitive state material” related to the attack on Mr Dillon has “increased significantly” since 2014, the coroner has been told.
At a preliminary hearing, counsel for the coroner said the state had applied for a secrecy order on material contained within 180 pages eight years ago, but now there is “considerably greater amounts of sensitive material” to be reviewed in the so-called ‘public interest’ process.
Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly has said the family of Seamus Dillon is entitled to transparency and answers, as opposed to secrecy and cover-up.
“Public Interest Immunity certificates (PII) are used to conceal information. They were and are extensively used to hold back information in conflict legacy cases from families of victims,” he said.
“All relevant material into the death of Seamus Dillon who was gunned down by the LVF outside the Glengannon Hotel in Dungannon in 1997 must be considered.
“An inquest into Seamus Dillon’s death is set for next April, there should be no further stalling, his family deserve truth and justice.”