Northern Ireland

Kieran Doherty murder: family want PSNI investigation

The family of a murdered Real IRA member have called on the police to investigate allegations that MI5 was involved in his killing.

In his independent report into the February 2010 shooting of Kieran Doherty, Lord Carlile said that MI5 had no connection to his death.

Vincent Coyle, Mr Doherty's uncle, said he believed some information had been kept away from Lord Carlile.

He said Lord Carlile's hands were tied by "matters of national security".

Lord Carlile found that there was no "misbehaviour or infraction by anybody connected directly or indirectly with the public service" in connection with the murder.

However, Vincent Coyle said the conclusion that the PSNI had not been impeded in their murder investigation left an avenue open for further investigation.

"Does that mean that the PSNI can question the MI5 officers on the murder of Kieran?" he said.

Image caption Kieran Doherty was killed by the Real IRA in February 2010

"Because if so I would like to call on Matt Baggott this morning to immediately carry out a police investigation into the allegations made against MI5 by the the family and begin that investigation sooner rather than later."

He said the family had been left "stunned".

MI5 involvement

"I think from day one, we all believed that we were never going to get the full facts because of this story of national security, but we had great trust in Lord Carlile.

"I do think he is a man of outstanding bravery, given the fact that he took this on at all. But his hands are tied and I think we realise that.

"From day one, we knew this would be an uphill climb."

Lord Carlile is an independent government adviser on the activities of the security services and met the family of Mr Doherty in Londonderry earlier this year.

In the months before he was killed, Mr Doherty told a local newspaper that MI5 had tried to recruit him as an agent.

The Real IRA said it murdered the 31-year-old - a senior member of their organisation - over alleged involvement in drugs. But his family claimed MI5 was involved.

Lord Carlile pledged to investigate the family's allegations and report back to the NI Secretary.

He has now written to Foyle MP Mark Durkan and told him that "no inappropriate or improper action took place".

"Kieran's cruel death was not in any respect a consequence of any misbehaviour or infraction by anybody directly or indirectly connected with the public service," he said.

"Further, the Police Service of Northern Ireland have been able to carry out a full and unimpeded murder inquiry."

He added that the Doherty family could pursue other remedies through statutory procedures if they wished.

"My work on this matter is now closed. Because of its nature, I would not regard any further meetings on the subject as appropriate," he wrote.

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