“the leadership of the IRA has conducted an in-depth inquiry into the circumstances..”

As well as the IRA’s Easter message 2007.. As noted by the Belfast Telegraph, this week’s issue of An Phoblacht carries an apology from the IRA.. for the murder of Eoin Morley in 1990 – ‘Kevin Fulton’ has already admitted to being one of two gunmen involved. It’s also one of the cases in which the Police Ombudsman’s office has already investigated the subsequent police actions – report here [pdf file] – a report which his brother, Ivan Morley, responded to in The Blanket at the time, Feb 2005.The IRA’s statement on the murder of Eoin Morley

The following IRA statement was supplied to An Phoblacht this week.

“Following meetings with the mother of Eoin Morley the leadership of the IRA has conducted an in-depth inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Eoin Morley.
“Eoin Morley was shot and killed in Newry on 15 April 1990. No order was issued for the killing of Eoin Morley. At the time allegations were made that he was an informer. In the course of a lengthy interview in An Phoblacht in November 1992 the IRA leadership described those allegations as, “incorrect and totally inaccurate”.
“The killing of Eoin Morley was wrong. The IRA leadership offers its apologies to the Morley family for the grief and pain they have suffered as a result of our actions and the subsequent false allegations levelled against Eoin Morley.”

However the Police Ombdusman’s report [pdf file] begins by noting that

1.1 In July 1989, through a local newspaper, the Provisional IRA had issued a death threat against Eoin David Morley. On Easter Sunday, evening, 15th April 1990 Eoin Morley was at his girlfriend’s home address in Derrybeg, Newry, when at about 2200 hrs, two masked men knocked on the door. It was answered by his girlfriend and they entered the premises and dragged Eoin Morley into the front garden where he was shot twice. Following emergency surgery at Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry, Eoin Morley died of his injuries at 0020 hrs the following morning. The Provisional IRA claimed responsibility for his murder.

The recommendations of the Police Ombudsman’ report [pdf file]

6.1 A separate letter has been sent to the Chief Constable by the Executive Director recommending investigative actions regarding the murder and relating offences. The murder investigation has been re-opened.

The failures in this investigation can be attributed variously to the investigating officer, the lack of supervision by his supervisors, inadequate fingerprint audit systems, some Special Branch officers and the lack of systems for the dissemination of information in Special Branch at the time. The standard of proof for disciplinary failures from that period was ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and, in the absence of an identifiable responsible officer, it has been judged that disciplinary action in respect of the failures in the Morley investigation could not.

And the conclusions on the 4 complaints

7.1 Complaint 1

That the RUC failed to conduct a proper and thorough investigation into the murder of Eoin David Morley.

This complaint is substantiated.

7.2 Complaint 2

That police knew who was responsible for murdering Eoin Morley.

This complaint is not substantiated but the Police Ombudsman is of the view that police did fail to take appropriate action.

7.3 Complaint 3

That police failed to arrest the known suspect “A” and sought to protect him.

There is nothing within the murder file to indicate that anyone was arrested in connection with Eoin Morley’s murder. High-grade intelligence was held by the RUC in relation to a number of individuals who were named as being responsible for the murder.

The frequent practice of the RUC Special Branch, not to disseminate information, and the consequences thereof inevitably led to suspicion that individuals were being protected.

This complaint is therefore partially substantiated.

7.4 Complaint 4

That Eoin Morley was murdered at the instigation and behest of the police to create a feud between PIRA and the IPLO.

There is nothing to indicate any prior knowledge by police or any police involvement in Eoin Morley’s death. Nor is there any evidence or intelligence to indicate that there was an attempt by the police to provoke a feud between the IPLO and PIRA.

This complaint is not substantiated.