Northern Ireland news

PPS to review Sean McParland prosecution decisions

Sinead Monaghan, daughter of UVF murder victim Sean McParland, with her husband Michael. Picture by Matt Bohill
Connla Young

THE Public Prosecution Service is reviewing decisions not to prosecute eight people - including two retired police officers - in connection with the murder of a Catholic man almost 25 years ago.

Sean McParland (55) was gunned down by the UVF as he babysat his grandchildren in north Belfast in February 1994.

Police informer and supergrass Gary Haggarty, who was controversially released from prison last week, pleaded guilty to the murder.

A court heard yesterday that the PPS is to review a decision not to bring criminal charges against two ex-Special Branch officers who allegedly directed and shielded Haggarty.

Murdered man's family sceptical about PPS review

The Irish News also learned last night that a decision not to prosecute six other people in connection with the case is to be reviewed.

The decision not to bring charges was announced by former PPS director Barra McGrory last year, who said Haggarty's evidence alone was insufficient to prove allegations beyond reasonable doubt.

The murdered man’s son-in-law, Michael Monaghan, launched a legal challenge after the PPS announcement.

Mr Monaghan said prosecutors have also told the family there are “outstanding decisions” in relation to two other people reported by police in relation with the murder.

That brings to 10 the number of people who could potentially be facing prosecution.

A spokeswoman for the PPS last night confirmed that “eight ‘no prosecution’ decisions were being reviewed and a further two outstanding decisions will be taken at the same time”.

However, Mr Monaghan expressed expressed scepticism about the prospects of further prosecutions in the case.

He also said his family has been left deeply disappointed by Haggarty's release from prison despite confessing to more than 500 paramilitary crimes.

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