Sunday Life

Border Body: Victim was ex-IRA man

By Stephen Breen
14 July 2004

A MAN, whose body was found on an isolated border lane yesterday, was a senior Belfast republican in the 1970s, it emerged last night.

Sean Haughey, from Oldpark Road, was discovered at the side of the Ferryhill Road, outside Newry, by an off-duty Garda officer.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on the 44-year-old's body last night to establish the cause of death.

A close relative of Haughey told Sunday Life that he had been socialising with pals in Dundalk on Friday evening, before his body was discovered.

The ex-Provo - nicknamed 'Oddjob' - walked into an RUC station in 1982 and confessed to his part in a murder-bid on two policemen, in July 1978.

Haughey gave himself up, believing police were hunting him for taking part in an illegal parade.

During his trial, the court was told that Haughey - who was also charged with possession of guns and ammunition - had acted as a scout for an IRA hit-team who fired at the RUC patrol, off Belfast's Crumlin Road.

A Crown lawyer told the trial: "Haughey was living in Dublin with his wife, but he went to Oldpark RUC station and surrendered himself, believing police were looking for him, for taking part in an illegal parade."

Haughey's lawyer also told how he had made a "conscious decision" to return to Northern Ireland, and plead guilty to the charges.

Leading republican, Martin Meehan, said last night that Haughey's family had been left "devastated" by his death.

Said Mr Meehan: "Sean had a connection with the republican movement in the 1970s, but has not been involved since then.

"I am a close friend of his parents, Jackie and Betty, and they are absolutely devastated by the death of their son.

"His parents are well-respected people in this district, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.

"Nobody seems to know what the cause of Sean's death was, but the whole district will do all they can to support his family."

A police spokesman was unable to confirm the cause of death.

He said: "A post-mortem is being carried out on the body, but police are unable to say at this stage what caused the man's death."

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