Northern Ireland news

Senior Sinn Féin figure Sean `Spike' Murray will not be charged with the alleged importation of IRA weapons from US

Sean 'Spike' Murray has always denied the allegations. Picture by Aidan O'Reilly

A SENIOR Sinn Féin figure will not be charged with the alleged importation of weapons from the United States for the IRA.

A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) spokeswoman said said the decision had been taken following "careful consideration" of the case against Sean 'Spike' Murray.

"I can confirm that a decision has been taken not to prosecute a man for any offences in relation to the alleged importation of firearms," she said.

"Careful consideration has been given to all of the available evidence and it has been concluded that this is insufficient to meet the Test for Prosecution."

The allegations against Mr Murray were made in an April 2014 BBC Spotlight programme.

The programme claimed the former IRA member conspired with a Florida businessman, Mike Logan, to secure a large number of Glock handguns for the organisation.

Mr Logan told how he had posted about 200 weapons to NI between 1995 and 1999.

The businessman said the weapons he sent to the IRA were used in several murders, including the killing of constables John Graham and David Johnston in Lurgan, Co Armagh in 1997.

Another was used to kill Real IRA Belfast commander, Joe O'Connor, three years later.

Mr Logan believed a third was used in the 1999 attempted assassination in England of former British agent, Martin McGartland.

The US authorities gave the businessman immunity from prosecution in 2002 in return for information about the weapons he had bought.

Mr Murray has always denied the allegations.

Following the programme's broadcast, the PSNI said the allegations of IRA gun-running from Florida were the subject of investigation.

In 2015, it was reported that a police delegation travelled to the US to ask Logan to give evidence in court.

However, Mr Logan (57) died suddenly in his sleep in Florida in two years ago.

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