Belfast solicitor applies for inquest into UVF killing

Darragh Mackin

A Belfast solicitor has called for an inquest into the killing of INLA member Thomas Trainor, who was shot dead by the UVF in 1978.

Darragh Mackin of KRW Law, representing Mr Trainor’s family, has applied to coroner Brian Sherrard for an inquest to be opened into the killing, saying that the family could not wait for the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) to be established.

The establishment of the HIU, agreed as part of the Stormont House Agreement, has been stalled by the political deadlock in Northern Ireland.

Mr Mackin told Irish Legal News: “The decision to apply for an inquest was not solely premised upon the political deadlock, however it is one of the contributory factors.

“As is evident from the material opened before the Court, there is clearly an obligation on the state to conduct an effective investigation into the allegations as to how Thomas met his death, and the failings in the subsequent investigations.”

He added: “Ordinarily one would advise that the HIU is the investigative mechanism that is required, however we cannot advise our clients to rely on a mechanism that is not in existence, and furthermore, there are questions marks over whether it will ever come into existence.

“It is against that backdrop that the only appropriate mechanism available to them is that of the Inquest process.”

Mr Mackin also said there was evidence of collusion during past investigations by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) andHistorical Enquiries Team (HET).

He told Irish Legal News that the HET report was amended and redacted before the family saw it in a “deliberate attempt to cover up and conceal the truth”.

He added: “It is clear from the evidence opened before the Court that Article 2 ECHR is engaged and thereafter any mechanism that proposes to investigate these issues must be Art 2 compliant.

“As we know from the UKSC ruling in McCaughey, an Inquest is an Article 2 compliant mechanism.”

The outcome of the application will be known by the next hearing on 29 January 2016.

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