Questions to be raised at Legacy event

Vincent Coyle.
Vincent Coyle.

The uncle of a Derry man murdered by the Real IRA has said any new organisation set up to probe legacy issues must be subject to the full rigours of the law.

Vincent Coyle said that MI5 and other secret service organisations must not be allowed to operate above the law and any new legislation tackling legacy of the Troubles and unresolved cases must tackle this issue head on.

Mr Coyle - whose nephew Kieran Doherty was murdered in 2010 - was speaking ahead of a public information meeting at the Maldron Hotel (formerly Tower Hotel) tomorrow afternoon at 2pm.

The meeting on Wednesday has been secured to give local people, and particularly families on all sides directly affected by the Troubles, the chance to ask about the new legislation.

Mr Coyle said he was personally concerned about a number of the proposals being put forward, including fears about the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU), which will largely replace the Historical Enquiry Team (HET).

“What I would be concerned about is how can we strengthen that HIU and make it more independent. There is a suggestion that there would no appeal which is also a huge concern.”

In the period leading up to his murder, Mr Doherty had repeatedly complained that he was being targeted by MI5 agents.

Mr Coyle said that following dissatisfaction with the subsequent UK government’s probe into their activities prior to the murder, the secret service must not be given the power to omit themselves from investigations or operate outside the law.

“I would have a huge problem with anyone who has signed the Official Secrets Act leading this and overseeing the new body, and MI5 must have no input.”