Family ‘hitting steel walls’ in quest for truth

Kieran Doherty, who was shot dead in 2010.

Kieran Doherty, who was shot dead in 2010.

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The family of murdered Derry man, Kieran Doherty, have called for assurances that all hearings into his death will be fully transparent.

Kieran Doherty’s uncle, Vincent Coyle, said that almost seven years on from Kieran’s killing they felt they were still facing a struggle to get the truth and justice.

Mr. Coyle was speaking after his family’s lawyers last week said they are “deeply concerned” after the State attempted to hold a hearing into Kieran’s death behind closed doors.

Coroner, Brian Sherrard, ruled the unusual closed session be allowed after he was told that to disclose details on documents posed a risk to life.

But a later intervention by counsel for the next of kin, means further legal discussions are set to take place in an attempt to resolve the differences.

Mr. Doherty’s body was found dumped at Braehead Road in Derry on February 24, 2010. The Real IRA claimed responsibility for the murder.

Mr. Coyle has now called on the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, to ensure that full and open disclosure of all evidence is guaranteed.

He said: “Kieran’s anniversary is now coming up again in February and nobody has any answer and nobody is any further forward. We are gobsmacked as to why they would have any kind of closed proceedings. It is unheard of in a case like this unless there is Intelligence Service involvement. I am calling on the Secretary of State to guarantee the family that we will have open and full, final and thorough disclosure of all evidence in Kieran’s case.”

Mr. Doherty has since called for the full, unredacted report compiled following the investigation into claims over MI5 involvement in Kieran’s death.

In the weeks before his death, Mr. Doherty said that MI5 had tried to recruit him as an informer. Lord Carlile - who conducted that investigation - concluded that “no inappropriate action took place” after he carried out his investigation, but the family have never seen the full report.

Mr Coyle went on: “At the minute all we are doing is hitting steel walls. Every time you try to go forward we are getting stopped. We had hoped going into Christmas and New Year this hearing would have given us a wee bit of a boost but in fact it was a ‘Battle Royale’ to have it in open proceedings. It is our fear that some time in the future they will try to have closed proceedings.”

Mr. Coyle thanked the people of Derry for getting behind the campaign for justice for Kieran. He added that no-one was every charged in connection with Kieran’s death.

“It is not as if this happened 30-40 years ago,” he said. “This happened in 2010.”