Northern Ireland

Eamon Collins murder: Man arrested in Newry

Eamon Collins Image copyright VT Freeze Frame - free to use
Image caption Eamon Collins was murdered a short distance from his Newry home

A man has been arrested by police investigating the murder of a former IRA man 15 years ago.

Eamon Collins, 45, was found beaten and stabbed to death on 27 January 1999. Police believe he may also have been deliberately struck by a car.

His body was found at Dorans Hill, a country road a short distance from his home in the Barcroft estate in Newry.

A 59-year-old man was arrested in Newry on Tuesday and his house has been searched.

While in the IRA, Mr Collins collected information on police officers and Royal Ulster Constabulary special branch members and set up assassinations over a six-year period.

Although he never directly shot anyone, he provided information and recruited members.

Image copyright other
Image caption A hunting knife similar to the one used in the murder of Eamon Collins in 1999

He was arrested in 1985 and charged with 50 terrorist offences including five murders and membership of the IRA.

After his arrest, however, he turned supergrass, the term used for those prepared to give evidence against former colleagues.

More than 40 suspects were arrested, but most were released after Eamon Collins had a change of heart.

He walked free from Belfast Crown Court after the judge dismissed his alleged confessions.

He later wrote a book, Killing Rage, which was highly critical of the IRA.

Last month, police revealed that they had obtained DNA from the scene of his murder.

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