Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 16:58 UK

IRA deaths to be reinvestigated

SAS crest
The men were shot dead by undercover SAS soldiers

SAS soldiers who shot dead two IRA men in County Armagh 19 years ago are to be interviewed by officers from the Historical Enquiries Team.

An inquest into the deaths of Dessie Grew and Martin McCaughey could be delayed as a result.

The pair were shot close to isolated farm outbuildings at Lislasley outside Loughgall in October 1990.

A preliminary hearing of the inquest was told it could be 2010 before the soldiers are interviewed by the HET.

Coroner Brian Sherrard told the hearing he wanted to proceed with the full inquest as soon as possible.

However, he said he had received a letter from the HET advising him it was their intention to reinvestigate the two deaths.

"The HET have, I understand, a plan to re-investigate this matter again towards the end of 2010.

"I am told this type of investigation takes around six months, they will review all documents, review all intelligence and re-interview soldiers and other persons that were involved."

He said as a result he was not sure whether to press ahead with the inquests or wait until the reinvestigation was over.

The coroner asked for submissions from lawyers representing the families, the police and Army ahead of a further preliminary hearing he set for 12 October.

Chronological order

Paul Johnston, a senior investigator from the HET, said they were trying to deal with re-investigations in a chronological order.

They had started with 1969 and were currently looking at deaths at the end of 1973 and early 1974.

He said it would be at least the beginning of 2010 and more likely the end before they got to the Grew and McCaughey deaths.

The building Grew and McCaughey were killed outside had been under surveillance.

Three AK47 assault rifles were found nearby afterwards.

McCaughey, 23, was a former Sinn Fein councillor who had been disqualified for missing Dungannon Borough Council meetings.

It is believed he missed them as he was recovering from injuries he received in a previous shoot-out with the Army.

Grew's older brother Seamus was shot dead by the police in 1982.

The Commission for Victims and Survivors said on Monday it was concerned any decision to adjourn the inquest would set a precedent "which would see further delays for families who have lost loved ones in accessing information, truth and acknowledgement".



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