A leading lawyer has warned that an inquiry “looms large” over the role of two suspected British agents operating in the County Down area in the 1990s.
Former British army agent Peter Keeley has been linked to the death of Eoin Morley, a republican Volunteer who was killed during a paramilitary-style attack in Newry in 1990.
A former member of the IRA, Mr Morley had left that organisation and joined the small breakaway armed group, the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation, when he was killed.
Peter Keeley, who is also known by the name Kevin Fulton, is a former agent with the British army’s murderous Force Research Unit.
A legal action is expected to raise the existence of secret documents that have resulted in a legal firm, KRW Law, being hit with an injunction by the Police Ombudsman.
Eoin Morley’s mother Eilish has taken judicial review proceedings against the Police Ombudsman for not reopening an investigation into her son’s death.
In her action, she is urging the Police Ombudsman to consider the sensitive documents, which are understood to point to the existence of a second informer operating within the IRA in south Down around the time of her son’s death.
Around 25 cases involving Keeley were listed for review in the High Court on Friday April 28.
Ms Morley’s lawyer Kevin Winters believes that the evidence his client now wants examined has the potential to spark a similar “Stakeknife type inquiry” in line with the investigations of another infamous British spy in the IRA, Freddie Scappaticci.
In Keeley’s autobiography, a foreword by a former special forces soldier says: “Kevin Fulton was a British agent actively encouraged to take part in operations that were immoral and illegal. In effect, he was handed a licence to kill by British military intelligence, through its secret wing, the force research unit (FRU).
“Be under no illusion that Fulton took part in operations that resulted in murders, with the full knowledge of the FRU. His police handlers knew it. His military handlers knew it. The British state knew it. And later, so did the families of his victims.”
Lawyer Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, told the Irish News: “This is a challenge on the ongoing refusal to investigate Peter Keeley.
“More specifically, the case is about PONI (Police Ombudsman) refusal to factor in the content of sensitive documents which we say confirms Keeley’s full status as an agent at the time he killed Eoin Morley.
“We aren’t allowed to engage on these documents as we are still the subject of an ongoing injunction.”
Mr Winters said the evidence his client wants the Police Ombudsman to examine opens “up a much wider inquiry to include links to other alleged agents”.
“The spectre of another ‘Stakeknife’ type inquiry looms large except here we have an agent involved in attacks on the security forces while connected to the British army,” he said.
“It’s for this reason there’s been no meaningful investigation to date.”
Mr Winters added there needs a wider investigation.
“Keeley was in fact a member of two armies at the same time, the British army and the IRA,” he said.
He added: “There are 25 other victims of Keeley’s activities with state oversight. A thematic investigation is long overdue.”