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IRA man’s elderly mother to sue over controversial killing

August 25, 2014

The mother of an IRA man who was shot dead by the British army close to the border, near Forkhill, almost 40 years ago is to sue military authorities over his death.

Peter Cleary (25) from Belleek, was unarmed when he was shot three times after being detained by an undercover SAS unit while visiting the house of a relative of his girlfriend in April 1976.

He was the first person to be killed by the SAS during the Troubles.

Described at the time as the Staff Officer of the IRA’s first south Armagh battalion, Cleary was killed just weeks before he was due to marry.

The British army claimed he was shot when he attempted to overpower a soldier, however his elderly mother, Mary, insists he was murdered.

Now aged in her 80s, Mary Cleary and her family have called on the Attorney General John Larkin to order a new inquest into her son’s death.

The family’s solicitor, Kevin Winters, said the circumstances surrounding the death of Peter Cleary still remain raw as his relatives have fought for years to find out the truth about his killing.

Commenting on the family’s call for a new inquest to be opened, Mr Winters said: “It’s all part of the campaign for justice for Peter because there was never a proper inquest.”

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