‘Family members are dying while we continue to fight’

Sean Dalton was killed in an IRA booby-trapped bomb 30 years ago today. Mr Dalton, 54, was one of three people killed when the IRA booby trap device detonated at a flat in Derry's Creggan estate as they checked on the welfare of a neighbour.
Sean Dalton was killed in an IRA booby-trapped bomb 30 years ago today. Mr Dalton, 54, was one of three people killed when the IRA booby trap device detonated at a flat in Derry's Creggan estate as they checked on the welfare of a neighbour.

The family of a Derry man killed when a bobby trapped bomb exploded in a neighbour’s home, have said that 30 years on the lack of a government here is hampering their fight for the truth.

In a hard-hitting statement issued 30 years to the day of the explosion in the Creggan area of Derry which claimed the lives of Sean Dalton (pictured) and two of his neighbours, Mr Dalton’s family said relatives were dying without knowing the full truth of what happened.

Sean Dalton and Sheila Lewis died when an IRA booby trapped bomb exploded on August 31, 1988 in Kildrum Gardens.

Gerard Curran died of the injuries he sustained in the blast seven months later.

They had gone to check on a neighbour who hadn’t been seen in a few days and on entering his flat, triggered a bomb that ultimately lead to three deaths.

Because of the circumstances of the case, it became known locally as the ‘Good Samaritan’ case.

INVESTIGATION

An eight-year Police Ombudsman investigation found that the RUC had failed in their duty to advise the local community of possible IRA activities in the area and also to properly investigate the deaths of Mr. Dalton and Mrs. Lewis.

The Dalton family believe this was allowed to happen to protect an informant.

The family have asked the Attorney General to grant a fresh inquest to examine their father’s death, and crucially to allow the Coroner to compel retired officers to take the stand.

This was turned down and for over two years the Dalton family have been engaged in an appeal of that decision.

The Court of Appeal will hear the case in October this year.

FRUSTRATION

In a statement, the Dalton family said: “Family members are dying while we continue to fight.

“All the while there are resources available, yet we are hampered by the lack of government.

“Every time we attend court, our feelings of devastation, frustration and sadness return; every time we get knocked back we believe our father’s life has been undervalued as we have always felt from the early days.”

However, the Dalton family praised the support they have received in their battle.

“We are thankful for the support of our family who have lost out on their granda’s love, wisdom and humour; thanks to our legal team and the Pat Finucane Centre, who without their help we would be nowhere,” they stated.

Mr Dalton’s relatives also vowed: “We will continue to fight and pray for a satisfactory resolution in the near future.”