First man on scene of Shankill bomb sues police over informer allegations
ONE of the first people on the scene of the Shankill bomb has launched a High Court action against the PSNI over allegations that a high level informer was involved in the atrocity.
Geordie Brown (57) clawed through the wreckage of the 1993 bomb attack with his bare hands, helping pull the dead and injured from the rubble.
The father-of-two has suffered flash backs and panic attacks since the atrocity.
Diagnosed with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he moved away from the Shankill Road in a bid to start a new life in Co Down.
He is taking legal action against the PSNI for having to endure 26 years of what he claims was avoidable trauma.
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The move follows revelations by the Irish News in 2016 which revealed a high level informer had been 'commander' of the IRA unit responsible for the Shankill bomb.
Known as 'Agent AA', the man, who is well known in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, was said to have been the last person to handle the bomb before it was handed to IRA members Sean Kelly and Thomas Begley to be transported to Frizzell's fish shop.
Nine civilians, including two children, died in the October 1993 blast. Begley also died instantly when the bomb, which was set with just seconds of a fuse, exploded in the packed shop.
The senior ranking IRA man was 'stood down' by the organisation's ruling army council in 2002 after they discovered he had been working as a double agent for more than a decade.
Mr Brown has now lodged a High Court case against the Chief Constable for the trauma he suffered as a result of his experiences.
His case could pave the way for others injured - physically or mentally - in cases where state informers were alleged to have been involved.
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Solicitor Kevin Winters of KRW Law, who is acting for Mr Brown, said: "The consistent political failure to deliver an independent mechanism to investigate conflict-related killings has led to a huge upswing in legacy litigation resulting in greater official and judicial engagement on the past.
"This is the context within which Mr Brown brings his High Court action for misfeasance, negligence and breach of the European Convention against the state."
Mr Brown said: "Taking a case wasn't easy for me, I know there are some people who might criticise me for it, but I want the truth, we shouldn't hide from finding that out."