Bomb victim’s family take legal action against retired cops

Sean Dalton and two of his neighbours were killed in the IRA booby trap bomb in 1988.
Sean Dalton and two of his neighbours were killed in the IRA booby trap bomb in 1988.

The family of a Derry man killed in what became known as the ‘Good Samaritan’ bomb is to take legal action against an association representing retired NI police officers.

The move follows an application by the Retired Police Officers Association (NIRPOA) for a judicial review of last year’s Police Ombudsman report into the original RUC investigation.

The IRA booby trap explosion in the Creggan Estate in 1988 claimed the lives of Sean Dalton (55) and Sheila Lewis (60). A third person, Gerard Curran, was injured in the blast and died seven months later.

Last summer, the Police Ombudsman issued a report in which he concluded police could have done more to protect the public.

Sean Dalton’s family says new information has emerged which, they claim, indicates police didn’t act to prevent the 1988 bombing because they were protecting an informant.

The Dalton application, which will be made under Section 32 of the Administration of Justice Act, seeks access to material withheld from the Police Ombudsman during its long running investigation into the 1988 bomb.

The family claim the “failure” by retired officers to co-operate is in breach of Article 2 of the Human Rights Act.

The Daltons say they want the information to help them in their ongoing civil action against the PSNI and the Ministry of Defence.

Sean Dalton’s daughter, Phyllis Kealey, said: “It beggars belief that retired police officers wouldn’t cooperate in a PONI investigation but, then, come along afterwards and seek to undermine the report and make claims about informer protection which the Ombudsman had been unable to confirm.”

The case was listed in the High Court in Belfast this morning and was adjourned to next month when it is expected the summons will be heard.

The family has also asked the court to have representative party status at the pending judicial review case which is due for hearing in May.