Derry murder victim was "a good and decent man" say family

This photograph shows Derry murder victim Kieran Doherty (pictured back right) enjoying happier times with his family.

Ironically the picture was taken near Braehead Road, where the 31-year-old was shot dead on Wednesday night.

The family of Kieran Doherty last night told the 'Sunday Journal' they want to make it clear that Kieran was not an informer and was in no way involved in drugs. They have also called for an inquiry into whether MI5 was involved in the events which led to Kieran's murder.

In a statement, the family said: "Kieran was a good and decent man trying to lead a normal life, looking forward to getting married. In his last few days he was filling out an application form for a job in Seagate. Since serving a prison sentence in the South, he had been trying his best to get on with his life. He was an unapologetic Republican but since his release was no longer actively involved. However, he was not allowed to get on with living a normal life.

"Kieran was under continuous harassment by MI5 in the months before his death. Repeated attempts were made to recruit him as an informer. He rejected all these attempts. In the last few months of his life, he went to the local media on more than one occasion to publicise and complain about MI5's activities.

"He revealed to the media that MI5 had sent him cards with a mobile phone number, asking him to ring and supply information on local Republicans. British intelligence tried to take advantage of him as a father by sending a gift voucher for a toy shop with one of the cards. This happened just before last Christmas. He sent the voucher to Altnagelvin Hospital, to be used for sick children.

"Kieran was constantly followed. He believed that his phone calls and letters were being monitored. He wasn't given a moment's peace and was under 24/7 surveillance by MI5. We would like to know – where were the MI5 people who were monitoring his every movement on the night he was abducted and brutally murdered?

"On one occasion about four weeks ago, MI5 officers in a car stopped Kieran and tried to engage him in conversation. They threw a mobile phone out to him with a number and asked him to 'phone 'Justin'. Kieran then threw mobile phone back into car. It hit one of the officers in the face.

"The PSNI and others have been asking anybody who might have relevant information to come forward. Will they ask MI5 to produce 'Justin' so they can interview him and find out what he knows about Kieran's death?

"In the last months of his life, Kieran was stressed out from the constant attention of the intelligence services. He lost weight, was hospitalised with depression, was sometimes almost unable to speak to his partner.

"Contrary to some press reports, Kieran was not a nephew of Paddy Ward, the Provisional IRA informer, and indeed had never met Paddy Ward. We repeat that he was neither an informer nor a criminal. He was never in his life associated with drugs

"We believe that MI5 may have set Kieran up to get him out of the way and perhaps put somebody else into a position to supply them with information. People might think this is farfetched, but it is reality. It is what happened with Freddie Scappaticci, the so-called Stakeknife, an informer in the Provisional IRA who had Republicans executed as informers. The case of Dennis Donaldson, a very high-ranking member of Sinn Fein who turned out to be a British agent and who was later shot dead in Donegal, also shows how devious MI5 can be and the terrible fate of people who become their targets.

"This could be what happened to Kieran. This is why we want a full inquiry into whether MI5 was involved. We ask everyone who has supported the family and expressed their disgust at the manner of Kieran's death to support the demand for an inquiry."