Inquest welcomed after almost 50 years
Inquest welcomed after almost 50 years


A new inquest has been ordered into the murder of a County Fermanagh man Jim Murphy after the original RUC police investigation into the 1974 killing was discredited.

Mr Murphy was shot dead by loyalists at his garage in Corraveigha, Derrylin, on April 20 1974. A member of Sinn Féin, he was also a civil rights activist.

Regularly stopped by the British army before he was killed, his family received letters mocking his death after the murder.

His case has been linked to other shootings and murders carried out in Tyrone and Fermanagh in the mid-1970s.

His death was referred to in a Police Ombudsman’s report into the 1974 murder of Tyrone based independent councillor Patsy Kelly, which was published last year.

Ciarán MacAirt from the research charity, Paper Trail said the killer gang consisted of “British soldiers and paramilitaries”.

“Their victims were well-known Catholic activists and business people,” he said. “Their attacks intended to strike fear into the local Catholic community.”

It is feared the inquest will not be able to take place before a cut-off date of May 1 under controversial new British legislation. However, Mr Murphy’s niece Joan Corrigan welcomed the inquest decision.

“I am obviously delighted with the Attorney General’s decision as it has always been said that collusion was at the heart of my uncle’s murder,” she said.

“It will not bring him back, but April 2024 will mark the 50th anniversary of his murder and I can look at his photograph on my wall and know I did as much as I could for his memory.

“He was a civil rights activist who sought truth, justice and equality, as do I, and a new inquest would be an extremely fitting tribute to him.”

She added: “Whilst I never met Jim, I know his siblings and loved ones suffered a huge loss, huge pain.

“I hope this gives victims’ families some hope for the long-term battle for justice, in spite of the reprehensible amnesty from the Tory government, which is a further, vicious slap in the face to the bereaved.”

Lawyer Niall Murphy, of KRW Law, said he was hopeful the new legislation to shut down conflict-related inquests and other legal processes would be overturned. A number of victims of British war crimes have launched actions against the new laws and the Dublin government has announced it is to challenge the Act in the European Court of Human Rights.

He added: “it is poignant and sad that it has taken 50 years for official recognition that original RUC investigation into Jim’s murder was failed and defective”.

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