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Family of murdered councillor shocked by link to notorious Glenanne gang

Patsy Kelly was murdered in July 1974

The family of a murdered nationalist councillor, whose body was 'disappeared' by his killers, have said they are shocked by the revelation that there may have been members of the notorious Glenanne gang involved.

Patsy Kelly (33), an independent member of Omagh District Council, was shot dead in July 1974 as he walked home from work at the Corner Bar in Trillick, Co Tyrone.

The father-of-five's body was 'disappeared' by his killers who weighed him down with two 56lb weights before dumping him in Lough Eyes.

His wife Teresa, who was pregnant at the time, spent three weeks frantically searching for her husband.

His remains were finally discovered the following month when they broke free and rose to the surface. Forty-three-years later no one has been brought to justice for the killing.

Mr Kelly's murder was claimed by loyalists, however, local people reported seeing a UDR patrol in the area on the night the victim disappeared.

In 2003 the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) took on the case, despite being told that the cold case investigation was all but complete the family never received the final report.

On Tuesday along with Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff and solicitor Patrick Fahy, the family met with the Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire

They were told that there were "common features" in personnel in those involved and some of those connected to the Glenanne series of killings.

Last month Mr Justice Treacy ruled the families impacted by the Glennane killings had a "legitimate expectation" that a thematic probe into collusion would have been completed and ruled the PSNI needed offer an "appropriate form of relief" to victims' families.

Mr Kelly's son, also called Patsy, said he would now like further clarity to see if his father's case should now be part of the wider Glenanne investigation.

"While the ombudsman was very apologetic for the slow pace of progress our case we didn't really feel that things had moved on at all.

"We were very interested in the comment regarding the "common features" with Glenanne, this is not something we've heard before.

"If true it would confirm our belief that it was UDR members involved and we would also them be asking our father's case be included in the thematic investigation".

A spokesperson for the Ombudsman said; "We have identified some common features between this case and the Glenanne Series, but these are not currently sufficient for us to link the cases under the umbrella of a single investigation.

"They are being run as two separate and distinct investigations, but given the similarities between them, the same Senior Investigating Officer has been appointed to both".

Barry McElduff said the Kelly family "have conducted themselves with great dignity but they will not give up on establishing the truth around their loved one's murder".

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