Northern Ireland news

Son of murdered IRA man prepared to meet his father's loyalist killers

Paul Casey holds a picture of his father Gerard who was killed on April 4, 1989
Connla Young

The son of a murdered IRA man has said he is willing to meet with his father’s loyalist killers.

Father-of-four Gerard Casey was gunned down by the UDA/UFF as he slept beside his wife and baby daughter at their home near Rasharkin, Co Antrim, on April 4 1989 - 30 years ago today.

His family believes there was collusion between the loyalist murder squad and the security forces.

Last night Mr Casey’s son Paul Casey said he was prepared to meet the men who shot his father in a bid to discover the truth.

“I would be prepared to meet anybody in confidence if they would be prepared to come forward, even the killers themselves,” he said.

One of two weapons used to kill the 29-year-old was a Czech made VZ-58 assault rifle.

It later emerged that the same weapon used during the Rising Sun pub massacre which claimed the lives of eight people at Greysteel in Co Derry on Halloween night 1993.

The deadly assault rifle is one of hundreds believed to have been smuggled into the north with the help of British intelligence in the late 1980s.

Mr Casey believes his father’s murder was directed by someone within the RUC.

“We know it was the RUC, there was a map of my father’s house and a legally held shotgun was removed - the man had no defence at all,” he said.

He also told how his mother Una moved her family to Letterkenny in Co Donegal 25 years ago due to allegations of intimidation from the RUC and British army.

“We were going to school and being stopped by the RUC and asked what we wanted to be when we grew up and told we will end up in a box the same way our father did,” he said.

Mr Casey said his family remains determined to get to the truth and want to know how “high up the ladder it went”.

“The dogs in the street know what happened and who was involved and we would like to see it pushed on to its conclusion,” he said.

The case is one of a series of murders and attempted murders carried out in Counties Derry and Antrim between 1989 and 1993 which has been examined by the Police Ombudsman in an investigation known as Operation Greenwich.

It is also one of more than 50 Troubles-related inquests that have yet to be held.

The family’s solicitor Fearghál Shiels of Madden and Finucane Solicitors said: “The Attorney General ordered a new inquest because it had been established that the RUC had unlawfully withheld certain materials from the original Coroner.

"We are confident that the inquest will expose shocking levels of collusion between the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries in Gerard’s murder.

"There has now been a nine year delay in holding that inquest and we shall be issuing proceedings in the High Court to challenge the failure to hold the inquest promptly."

A vigil will be held at 8.30pm tonight in Rasharkin in memory of Mr Casey.

A commemoration will also be held in the village on Sunday.

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