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Terrorist Killings

Volume 130: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the British subjects murdered by terrorists when they were (a) living in and (b) visiting the Irish Republic since 1 January 1969, and in how many of those cases he has information on (i) whether persons were charged and brought before the courts in the Irish Republic and (ii) how many of those cases resulted in a guilty verdict and prison sentence.

[holding answer 21 March 1988]: This information in respect of British subjects normally resident in Northern Ireland is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. This information in respect of other British subjects is a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information he has as to on how many occasions during the last 15 years, when persons were murdered by terrorists in Northern Ireland and the killers were known to have left the scene of the murder and crossed the land frontier into the Irish Republic, an assistant commissioner of the Garda was put in charge of inquiries made in the Irish Republic as to the identity of the murderers.

[holding answer 21 March 1988]: I understand that in all murders with a cross-border dimension the Garda carry out their own investigations. I have no information regarding the rank of the Garda officer in charge of each investigation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list by name, date and place the persons killed by terrorists since 1969 where the victims were in Northern Ireland and the killers were in the Irish Republic when the incident leading to each death took place; whether in each case any persons were (a) charged, (b) brought before the courts, (c) sentenced to a term of imprisonment and (d) acquitted or otherwise released; and if he will also indicate whether the method used to commit the crime was shooting, remote-controlled explosion, radio-detonated bomb, or other method.

[holding answer 21 March 1988]: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.However, since the beginning of 1987, the only person killed in Northern Ireland by a terrorist operating in the Republic of Ireland was lance Corporal Thomas Hewitt who was murdered by the Provisional IRA on 19 July whilst on patrol in Belleek, Co Fermanagh. The gunman carried out the murder from a firing point within the Republic of Ireland. On 31 July 1987 Michael Joseph Heron was charged in the Republic of Ireland with possession of a firearm with intent in relation to this murder. He was subsequently convicted at Dublin special criminal court in February 1988 and sentenced to three years' imprisonment.