THE family of Patsy Kelly who was murdered after closing up his pub in Trillick nearly 50 years ago have said a decision by the Attorney General not to hold a fresh inquest has caused them ‘enormous hurt’.
It comes just weeks after a major report by the Police Ombudsman found that the family was failed by ‘collusion and cover-up’ and a series of police failings in relation to the initial investigation.
In 1974, an Inquest into the death delivered an ‘open verdict.’
Mr Kelly’s son, Patsy, says that their family received the news of the decision with ‘dismay and anger.’ He also said that given what is now known about the wide scale collusion across multiple agencies of the British state, it is ‘simply appalling and incomprehensible’ that a fresh inquest has been denied.
“This decision has caused an enormous deal of hurt to our family,” he said.
“In what can best be described as an incompetent and in our belief sinister ruling we are left with no option but to now apply for a judicial review into this decision via our legal representatives, Patrick Fahy Solicitors.
“The recent publication of the PONI report into Patsy’s murder has highlighted the depth and scale of collusion in a case that spanned across police, loyalist paramilitaries and British military forces. However, the PSNI investigation only had the remit to investigate police misconduct.
“The granting of a fresh inquest (bearing in mind the original inquest in 1975 was effectively incomplete) would allow the spotlight to focus on UDR involvement in tandem with a then active UVF unit in Fermanagh and would possess the power to compel witnesses to attend and submit testimonies.
“That the Attorney General has decided to obstruct this process to truth raises very serious questions to how fit for purpose the individuals within that office really rare and most certainly calls into question whether there are more sinister agendas at play within this decision.
“It is important to remember that the original inquest into Patsy’s murder delivered an open verdict.”
The family solicitor, Adrian O’Kane, said that the suggestion that the Kelly family obtained all the relevant answers from the PONI report is both wrong and misconceived.
“The Kelly family have always contended that all of the other components of the State – including Ministry of Defence and the Security Services – have important issues to address and questions to answer resulting from the death of Patsy Kelly.
“These can only be properly and fully addressed by a fresh inquest.”
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