NI: ‘Impossible’ to know how Pearse Jordan was killed

Fearghál Shiels

The parents of IRA man Pearse Jordan, killed in 1992, have said they are considering further legal action after a coroner ruled it was “impossible” to say what happened.

Mr Justice Horner, sitting as a coroner, yesterday delivered his findings at the inquest into the death of Patrick Pearse Jordan, who was shot and fatally wounded by an RUC officer on the Falls Road in Belfast on 25 November 1992.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Horner said: “The deceased was shot and fatally wounded on 25 November 1992 on the Falls Road. At the time of his death he was on a mission for PIRA. He was unarmed. The Ford Orion which he was driving had been used earlier that day to carry substances used in the making of improvised explosives, namely ammonium nitrate and sugar. At the time of the shooting the Orion car was not being used to ferry guns, explosives or other munitions.

“It is now impossible with the passage of time to say with any certainty what happened on that fateful afternoon. At the remove of a quarter of a century I am simply unable to reach a concluded view which is fair and just as to whether the use of lethal force was justified or not. I remain profoundly unsure as to what happened. Neither side, for the reasons I have set out, have been able to convince me that what they say did occur immediately prior to the deceased’s death.

“On the balance of probabilities if the events did happen as the PSNI contend, and as I have said I have been unable to determine that issue on the balance of probabilities, I am satisfied that Sergeant A acted in self-defence and that there was no breach of Article 2. However, in so far as the onus lies on the PSNI to provide a satisfactory and convincing explanation to the inquest for the use of lethal force it has failed to do so.

“But how precisely the deceased met his death on that fateful afternoon has not been proved to the satisfaction of this inquest and remains unknown.”

Solicitor Fearghál Shiels (pictured) of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, acting for the late Mr Jordan’s parents, told The Irish News they would closely study the findings and consider taking further legal action.

He said the only avenue available “would be a judicial review”.

A number of judicial reviews have already taken place concerning Mr Jordan’s death, and the findings of a previous inquest in 2012 were quashed after legal action.

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