Police release pair arrested in Collins’ murder investigation

September 29, 2014

Two men who were arrested as part of a police investigation into the murder of former IRA man Eamon Collins in Newry 15 years ago were released unconditionally last Friday.

The men, aged 42 and 55 were arrested in Newry on Thursday.

45 year old Mr Collins was beaten and stabbed beyond recognition while walking his dogs in the Doran’s Hill area of the city on 27th January 1999.  Police believe he may also have been deliberately struck by a car.

The murder was believed to be a suspected revenge attack for the former IRA man turning supergrass as he had repeatedly received death threats from republicans.

As an IRA member, Mr Collins collected information on police officers and Royal Ulster Constabulary special branch members and set up assassinations over a six-year period.

He was arrested in 1985 and charged with 50 terrorist offences including five murders and membership of the IRA.

After his arrest, he turned supergrass, but with more than 40 suspects arrested on his evidence, Mr Collins had a change of heart and most were released.  A Belfast Crown Court judge dismissed Collins’ alleged confession and he walked free.

Some years later he wrote a book, Killing Rage, in which he criticised the IRA.

In January this year, police revealed they had obtained DNA from the murder scene

As news of last Thursday’s arrests broke Det Ch Insp Peter Montgomery made a further appeal for information about Mr Collins’ murder asking “particularly those in the Barcroft Estate, to think again about the awfulness of what happened and about the Collins family.

“It is never too late to come forward.”