Brady condemns Paisley’s “disgraceful” remarks over Colum Marks killing

April 24, 2017

Sinn Féin MP Mickey Brady has branded the comments of DUP MP Ian Paisley over the fatal shooting of an unarmed IRA volunteer 26 years ago as disgraceful.

Newry man Colum Marks was killed by the RUC in Downpatrick in 1991. In June last year a fresh investigation into the killing was launched by the police ombudsman after a new eyewitness account emerged. Lawyers for the Marks’ family have accused the RUC of a “shoot to kill” operation, disputing police claims that Mr Marks was armed and refused to stop when an attempt was made to arrest him.

Speaking in the Commons last week, Ian Paisley said the police officers involved in the killing of the Newry man should be given medals instead of being investigated. Mr Paisley said the RUC officer who “dispatched” Marks will be “traumatised” by another investigation which he said is based on “dodgy and fragile, fake” evidence, and he added that the British state should be honouring the RUC officer and his team for “taking out one of Ulster’s worst terrorist criminals.”

“The officer who dispatched Marks has now been through three individual inquests,” Mr Paisley said.

“I know the chap personally, he’s a friend of mine growing up. He has gone through an ombudsman’s inquest and now hanging over him is a second ombudsman’s inquest.

“His wife and his family will be traumatised by it and that’s why I said he and his team should have been given a medal that night.”

Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady slammed Mr Paisley for his remarks, describing them as “crass and disgusting comments” which he said will compound the hurt felt by the Marks family.

“They are also an insult to all those who knew Colum and hold him in high regard,” he added.

“No one can be above or beyond the law.

“This is a further indication of the DUP’s attempts to whitewash the past and it is symptomatic of their abject failure to deal with the legacy of the conflict.”