Northern Ireland news

Suspected loyalist killer to be sued by victims' families

Connla Young
07 December, 2015 01:00

A Co Armagh man linked to dozens of sectarian murders is set to be sued by the families of some victims.

Alan Oliver has been named on a writ lodged with the High Court in Belfast.

The Portadown man is suspected in involvement in a series of loyalist murders in Mid Ulster, including some of the most callous witnessed during the Troubles.

Families also believe he may have been a British agent.

It is thought to be the first time a suspected loyalist killer has been sued by relatives of victims.

Oliver, who is now a born-again Christian, continues to live in the Portadown area with his wife and two sons.

He is an active member of Portadown Elim Church where he helps run an outreach programme.

He did not respond to requests for comment made via the church.

Also named on the writ are the PSNI Chief Constable, Secretary of State and the Ministry of Defence.

The legal action is being brought by the family of Charles Fox (63) and his wife Tess (53), who were shot dead in their home outside the Moy by the UVF in September 1992.

Their son Anthony, who delivered a writ to Oliver's church on Friday, said the family intends to force the PSNI to hand over whatever information it holds.

“The state needs to admit what his role was and Alan Oliver needs to admit it,” he said.

“He is born again who talks about his dark past - tell us what the dark past has been.”

Mr Fox said his family is not motivated by revenge or money but merely wants to hear the truth.

“At the end of the day Alan Oliver was working for others, for MI5 and anybody else.

“We don’t want to see Alan Oliver in jail, if he had to go jail he would do two years.”

Oliver has also been linked to the gang that shot dead the murdered couple's son-in-law Kevin McKearney (32) and his 68-year-old uncle Jack in their butcher’s shop in Moy in January that year.

It is understood separate legal action is being considered by relatives of some of the three people killed in a notorious UVF gun attack on a mobile shop in Craigavon.

Eileen Duffy (19), Katrina Rennie (16) and Brian Frizzell (29) were shot dead in the Drumbeg estate in March 1991.

Ms Duffy was working in the shop when UVF gunmen struck, shooting her and her teenage friend in the head at point blank range.

Mr Frizzell was approaching the shop as the gunman, alleged to be Oliver, made his escape.

After being ordered to lie on the pavement he was shot nine times.

Two men were later convicted for their part in the attack.

The murders were claimed by the Protestant Action Force - a cover name for the UVF.

Brian Frizell’s brother Pat called on Oliver to clear his conscience.

“He claims to have been saved and his faith returned to God,” he said.

“If he is saved, let him show remorse and come forward and help the many hundreds of victims of his campaign, many who have lost faith in God because of his and his so-called tight unit’s actions."

Mr Frizzell also called on Oliver to reveal what branch of the British intelligence services he was working for.

“Let him come forward and come clean about who was really behind their campaign,” he said.

Eileen Duffy’s brother Brendan, who was one of the first people on the scene after the attack, also urged the killer to reveal all.

“If he is a man of God he needs to do the decent thing and confess what he was involved in, rather than live a façade."

He spoke of the impact his sister’s brutal murder has had.

“At certain times of the year, Christmas and birthdays, there’s an empty seat,” he said.

“It has had a profound effect, the nature and manner of it, the loss has been difficult.”

07 December, 2015 01:00 Northern Ireland news

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