Northern Ireland news

GAA president Larry McCarthy to attend event to remember murdered official Sean Brown

GAA official Sean Brown was murdered 25 years ago today
Connla Young

GAA PRESIDENT Larry McCarthy and actor Stephen Rea will join the family of Sean Brown in Co Derry tonight to mark the 25th anniversary of his murder.

The 61-year-old was attacked and beaten by LVF members as he locked the gates at Bellaghy Wolfe Tones GAC on May 12 1997.

The Bellaghy club chairman was then put in the boot of his own car and taken to a country lane outside Randalstown in Co Antrim where he was shot six times.

His remains were later found beside his burning car.

No-one has ever been charged in connection with his murder.

The brutal killing of Mr Brown stunned the GAA community across his native county and further afield.

Mr Brown's family were dealt a second blow last October when his son Damian, who was prominent in his family's campaign for justice, died after a short illness.

His son Damon said the Brown family continues to wait on an inquest to be held.

"It’s a bitter pill that we are still waiting, 25 years on, for an inquest," he said.

"The burden this has put on the family is inexcusable.

"What is it they are so afraid will come out about the murdered of my granda?"

Paul O'Connor, of the Pat Finucane Centre (PFC), said state agencies must take responsibility for continuing delays.

"The family of Sean Brown have shown tremendous dignity and patience," he said.

"But the fact that Damian had to spend years traipsing up and down to Belfast for preliminary hearings is a disgrace.

GAA president Larry McCarthy

"Both the PSNI and the MoD must share responsibility for these appalling delays.

"On this poignant anniversary our thoughts are with Sean and Damian and the Brown family."

Mr McCarthy is expected to plant a tree in memory of the murdered GAA official and a plaque will be unveiled at the Seamus Heaney inspired 'Turf Man' statue in Bellaghy at 6pm.

A piece of work by Seamus Heaney, who knew and wrote about Mr Brown, will also be read by Belfast actor Stephen Rea while Mass will be held in the grounds of the nearby Bellaghy GAA club at 7pm.

Several events have also been organised to take place this weekend, including an update in the case presented by the Pat Finucane Centre and Niall Murphy, of KRW Law, on Saturday at 6.45pm.

This will be followed by a screening of Unquiet Graves, which tells of the activities of the loyalist Glenanne Gang.

The acclaimed 'In Their Footsteps' exhibition will also be on display from today.

Meanwhile, the widow of Sean Brown has settled a case against the PSNI.

Bridie Brown took a civil case against the PSNI chief constable for alleged misfeasance in public office and negligence.

On Thursday, the 25th anniversary of the killing, the High Court in Belfast heard the case has been resolved.

An agreed statement was read out in court.

The PSNI made an undisclosed settlement to Mrs Brown, and also issued an apology over inadequacies in the RUC’s original investigation.

In a statement issued following the case, Detective Chief Superintendent, Ian Saunders, said: “I can confirm that a civil action in the case relating to the death of Sean Brown has been settled and the Police Service of Northern Ireland accepts the comments as per the Terms of Settlement read out in court today.”

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