Belfast Telegraph

Murder victim's family lose fight on probe

19 November 2004

The family of a nationalist councillor murdered 30 years ago lost a legal battle today to get an external police force to conduct a fresh investigation into his death.

Patrick Kelly (33) was murdered in July 1974, after locking up his pub in Trillick, Co Tyrone.

His body was found three weeks later in Lough Eyes near Lisbellaw, Co Fermanagh - with two 56lb weights strapped to it.

He had been shot a number of times. UDR soldiers were blamed for the murder, for which no one was ever charged.

His widow Teresa applied for a judicial review of the PSNI decision not to appoint an external force as she believed there was security force collusion in her husband's murder.

In the High Court today the Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr dismissed the application.

He said the new investigation was headed by Det Supt Hunter, a senior officer from an English force, and he would be assisted by PSNI officers, none of whom was in the police at the time of the murder nor had served in the area where Mr Kelly was murdered.

Sir Brian said there was ample reason for deep concern about the adequacy of investigations into the death of Mr Kelly to date.

"It would be wrong, however, to assume that because the investigations that have already taken place may prove in the final analysis to be pitifully insufficient, the present investigation will be similarly afflicted.

Outside the court, family solicitor Pat Fahy said: "The family remain of the view that the current investigation is not independent nor is it being properly carried out.

"It lacks independence because Supt Hunter has been seconded to the PSNI generally and not just for this investigation."

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