Man charged with 1998 IRA murder freed on bail

A MAN charged with an IRA murder in Co Armagh 15 years ago was released on bail yesterday.

Appearing in the dock of Craigavon Crown Court, 45-year-old Gary Marshall confirmed that he understood the charges against him.

Mr Marshall, from Ennis Green in Lurgan, is accused of murdering 30-year-old Kevin Conway in February 1998.

After being kidnapped from his Lurgan home, the married father of four was found on February 17, his head hooded, hands tied behind his back and shot through the head on farmland at the Soldierstown Road near Aghalee.

Detectives arrested Mr Marshall in Birmingham on Sunday after carrying out a review of the original RUC murder investigation.

The court was told the accused, an electrician who was working in Birmingham last week at the time of his arrest, had been questioned during the original investigation.

Mr Marshall waved at a large group of supporters at the court.

They included prominent republican campaigner Breandan Mac Cionnaith.

A detective sergeant told the court that a review of the case had uncovered "new forensic evidence" and it was on foot of this that Mr Marshall was arrested.

Gary Marshall is a brother of Sam Marshall, an IRA member who was shot dead by the UVF in Lurgan town centre in 1992.

Prominent republican Colin Duffy was injured in the same attack, which was also investigated by the PSNI's Historical Enquiries Team amid claims that teams of undercover soldiers had been in the area at the time.

Police yesterday objected to bail amid fears that Mr Marshall might try to abscond.

Mr Marshall's solicitor pointed out that the risk of his client absconding was reduced by the fact that the of-fence qualified under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and that the maximum sentence his client could face would be two years.

District Judge Dunlop said "murder is a very serious crime indeed and the loss of someone's life in circumstances where his hands are tied behind his back and he is shot in the head is extremely serious and the consequences for that man's family live with them."

However, the judge said he had to look at the case in the "context of the Good Friday agreement", and he had decided that to his mind "any risk is best managed by admitting him to bail".

He released Marshall on his own bail of £1,000 with a cash surety of £5,000.

The case will next be before the court on January 22.

* CHARGED: Gary Marshall (45) who is accused of the 1998 murder of Kevin Conway. Centre, Mr Marshall's brother Sam Marshall was shot dead by the UVF in 1992. Prominent republican Colin Duffy, right, was injured in the same attack


Colm Lenaghan/



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