The niece of a County Fermanagh republican whose murder in 1974 was claimed by loyalists has said it is “disgraceful” that a Police Ombudsman’s investigation into the killing will not begin before 2027.
Jim Murphy, a former civil rights activist, was shot dead in April 1974 near Derrylin, with his murder later claimed by the UFF, a cover name for the unionist paramilitary UDA.
Last year his family raised a formal complaint with the Office of the Police Ombudsman over investigations into the killing by the RUC/PSNI Historical Enquiries Team.
They have said the ombudsman’s office has formally accepted the case into the investigation surrounding the shooting of 42-year-old Mr Murphy.
However, his niece, Joan Corrigan, was told a backlog of cases meant the probe could not get underway before April 2027 at the earliest, meaning it is set to be halted by Boris Johnson’s controversial Northern Ireland (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, which is intended to bring an end to conflict-related investigations.
It has been suggested that last week’s report into the murder of Patsy Kelly may in fact be the last legacy report produced by Ms Anderson’s office.
“My uncle Jim was a quiet, well-known and well respected man, much loved by his family and a respected member of the local community in Derrylin. He was a member of Fermanagh Civil Rights Association and worked for basic human rights,” Ms Corrigan said.
“Whilst I welcome an investigation by the Office of the Police Ombudsman, it is disgraceful that the date given is 2027. Next year will see the 50th anniversary of my uncle Jim’s murder and Jim will still be denied any measure of justice.”
She said that despite the delay, she felt “encouraged that I have achieved this small step towards justice”.
Belfast-based charity Paper Trail, which carries out specialised and targeted legacy archive research on behalf of conflict victims, said it had sourced “secret British Army files from the National Archives in London” relating to the murder.
Project manager Ciarán Mac Airt, said: “Justice delayed is justice denied and it is shameful that any family has to wait so long for a proper investigation to commence.”