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Murdered RIRA man's family paid £5,500 compensation

John Manley Political Reporter

The family of a Real IRA man shot dead by his former associates received compensation of £5,500. The revelation comes amid a report that the mother and grandmother of murdered Derry man Kieran Doherty (31) received a payment of up to £200,000 between them.

News of the compensation award has caused outrage among the relatives of Real IRA victims, including the families of those killed in the Omagh bomb.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan died in the 1998 atrocity, said the amounts of compensation paid out to the victims of Omagh had been scandalous.

The families of children under 18 killed by the Real IRA bomb were paid £7,500, he said.

The amount paid to the Doherty family by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel has not been officially disclosed. An uncle of the victim described the settlement as "substantial".

But The Irish News has learned that Doherty's relatives received £5,500 plus an undisclosed amount towards funeral costs.

The family had initially been refused any compensation but successfully appealed the decision. however, an award of £11,000 was halved due to the victim's unspent criminal conviction in the Republic.

TUV leader Jim Allister said the system which enabled Doherty's family to claim compensation needed to be urgently reviewed.

"It is typical of the topsy turvy state of Northern Ireland that the families of innocent victims of terrorists should receive pittance in compensation while the families of terrorists receive large pay-outs," the North Antrim MLA said.

"Victims see convicted terrorists elevated to the highest offices in the land and, until recently, criminals rewarded for their crimes by being gifted posts as special advisers."

The DUP's Dianne Dodds said she

would be seeking an urgent meeting with the justice minister David Ford to discuss the matter.

"We will challenge this pay-out, especially given that innocent victims of terrorism are struggling to receive compensation," the MeP said.

Doherty was kidnapped, stripped and then assassinated outside Derry three years ago. he had served a jail sentence in the Republic for robbery while a member of the Real IRA.

Doherty's family said that in the weeks before being shot by the republican dissident group his health had suffered because of harassment by M15.

The dead man's uncle, Vinnie Coyle, said the family were happy with the amount of compensation.

A statement issued last night on behalf of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel - the body which made the award - said it did not comment on individual cases without the consent of relatives.

The statement said that in instances of one fatality all applicants were entitled sum of £11,000 for a single bereaved applicant and £5,500 each where there was more than one applicant.

"The panel has the discretion to reduce an award in a fatal case in accordance with the character of the deceased or of the applicant, including criminal convictions," the statement said.

n SETTLEMENT: From left, the family of Kieran Doherty, right, including his grandmother Mary Doherty, partner Mairead Miller and sister Lyndsay Collins with the British government's former independent adviser on the activities of the security services, Lord Carlile, ahead of his probe into claims of MI5 involvement in the death

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