Northern Ireland news

Family of murdered teenager to sue PSNI, MoD and Secretary of State

Gavin McShane (17) who was shot dead in Armagh in May 1994
Connla Young

THE family of a Co Armagh teenager shot dead by loyalists almost 30 years ago are set to sue the PSNI, Ministry for Defence and Secretary of State.

Gavin McShane (17) was murdered by the UVF along with his friend Shane McArdle as they stood in a taxi depot in Armagh on May 18 1994.

The killer, who was not masked and is a suspected agent linked to the Mid Ulster UVF, shot both teenagers once in the head as they played a computer game in the depot at Lower English Street.

Mr McShane died at the scene, while his friend - also aged 17 and from Markethill - died the following day.

Despite the suspected links to other murders, the PSNI recently confirmed to legal representatives that the murder of Mr McShane does not sit within the caseload of the Legacy Investigation Branch for future review.

Mr McShane's mother Maria was pregnant with her eldest child when she lost an eye during the 1976 bombing of the Step Inn Bar in Keady, which killed two people.

Separate High court proceedings have now also been issued in respect of the injuries she sustained in 1976.

Earlier this year members of the Oireachtas were briefed on the shocking double murders in Armagh.

Solicitor Kevin Winters of KRW Law said: "Coming nearly 20 years apart, a chronic police failing to investigate binds both of these horrific incidents together.

"The suffering and trauma suffered by Mrs McShane and her family has been aggravated by state-loyalist terrorist collusion in both incidents

"There is a horrible irony in Maria issuing separate High Court actions at the same time for her terrible injuries sustained at the Step Inn Bar and on behalf of her son Gavin murdered in Armagh."

Mark Thompson from Relatives for Justice said: "The killing of Gavin McShane is one of the killings that goes to the heart Britain's dirty war in Mid Ulster in terms of the role of RUC Special Branch, MI5 and the military in terms of control and direction of the Mid Ulster UVF over several decades".

A spokeswoman for the PSNI said: "As this is the subject of impending legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment at this time."

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