Northern Ireland

Diane Dodds criticises Taoiseach for not meeting family of murdered Co Tyrone man

The DUP's Diane Dodds has been supporting the family
The DUP's Diane Dodds has been supporting the family

THE DUP's Diane Dodds has criticised the taoiseach for refusing to meet the family of a Co Tyrone man murdered more than 30 years ago.

Ian Sproule was shot dead outside his family home in Castlederg in 1991 by the IRA, which claimed he was a member of the UVF.

The IRA tried to justify the attack by showing a Garda intelligence file to a Derry newspaper.

His family have rejected any suggestion Mr Sproule was linked to paramilitary groups and maintain that the IRA possession of a Garda intelligence file on him demonstrates collusion in the murder.

Mrs Dodds, who has been supporting the Sproule family's quest for truth and justice, has called on Micheal Martin to explain why he has refused to meet them.

"The Garda commissioner has refused to sanction an investigation and last year I had also written to the Micheal Martin asking him to meet with the Sproule family," she said.

"This latest request was also snubbed. Such a refusal stands in stark contrast to the position taken on any case where there are supposed failures on the part of authorities within the United Kingdom.

"The taoiseach needs to explain why he is afraid to meet the family of an innocent man murdered by the PIRA."