Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Wednesday, August 4, 1999 Published at 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK


Recriminations over murder of taxi driver

Police blame unidentified paramilitaries for the killing

An Ulster Unionist MP has called on Northern Ireland's police chief to state who he believes was behind a recent paramilitary style killing.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said it would be a clear breach of the IRA ceasefire if the organisation was responsible for the murder of Belfast man Charles Bennett.

He wants RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan to make a "clear statement" about who carried out the killing.

But Gerry Kelly from Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, has accused Mr Donaldson of trying to undermine the peace process.

The Search for Peace
Mr Bennett's body was found in waste ground on the mainly nationalist Falls Road area of west Belfast last Friday. The 22-year-old had been shot in the head.

On Monday security sources in the province indicated the Provisional IRA, currently on ceasefire, was behind the shooting.

Mr Donaldson said if the IRA were responsible, there must be an immediate end to the early release of paramilitary prisoners taking place under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

[ image: Jeffrey Donaldson: RUC must state position on murder]
Jeffrey Donaldson: RUC must state position on murder
"The circumstances of the murder, the manner in which it was carried out, the location where it was carried out points to the work of the Provisional IRA," he said.

"It is absolutely essential now for the Chief Constable to come out clearly and state who he believes was responsible, and for the Secretary of State then to take immediate action on the basis of the Chief Constable's declaration."

But Gerry Kelly said the IRA ceasefire remains intact.

He said: ''Jeffrey Donaldson is using this issue very cynically to attack the Good Friday Agreement.

"He is no friend of the peace process.

''He has used every opportunity to undermine the peace process. He is the clear leader inside the UUP of the rejectionists and the wreckers.''

State of ceasefire

Earlier, Northern Ireland Economy Minister John McFall said he accepted people were worried about the status of the IRA ceasefire.

"There is a worry because people are afraid there isn't political stability," he said.

UK Unionist leader Robert McCartney has called on Secretary of State Mo Mowlam to say immediately if she believes the IRA ceasefire has been broken.

He said if such a breach had occurred, Sinn Fein should be suspended from the review of the implementation of the Agreement. This review is due to take place in September.

[ image: Charles Bennett was found on the Falls Road on Friday]
Charles Bennett was found on the Falls Road on Friday
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said Mr Bennett's family deserved to know the truth about his death.

Mr Bennett was found dead behind a social club, with a cloth over his face and his hands tied behind his back. He had been missing for five days.

He was last seen at his girlfriend's house on Sunday afternoon when he answered a knock on the door and said he would return in 15 minutes.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

01 Aug 99 | UK
Call to clarify parties stance

30 Jul 99 | UK
Paramilitary link to murder

13 Jul 99 | UK Politics
Mistake to reject arms deal - Ahern

09 Jul 99 | UK
Bruton condemns Ahern comments

23 Jun 99 | UK Politics
Ahern's arms about-turn

Internet Links




Sinn Fein


Fine Gael

Department of the Taoiseach

Number 10, Downing Street

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online