Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

RUC officer’s husband to take legal action over wife’s murder

The husband of an RUC officer killed in an IRA mortar bomb attack in Newry 23 years ago has said he will take legal action over his wife’s death, after a BBC Panorama programme exposed allegations of collusion in her murder.

The programme, which was broadcast last month, examined the extent of security force collusion with paramilitary agents during decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

Constable Colleen McMurray, 34, was killed when a mortar bomb exploded in Newry in 1992.

Her husband, Philip McMurray was also an RUC officer at the time and the couple had been married for 18 months.

Mr McMurray is taking action against the Chief Constable, the Secretary of state, the Ministry of Defence and an alleged IRA informer, Peter Keeley, who told the BBC programme that he had helped design the technology that fired the rocket remotely.

Keeley also said he had passed that information onto his handlers and advised them that the IRA was planning an attack.

The IRA mortar attack that killed Mrs McMurray and seriously injured her colleague took place during an upsurge in violence in Northern Ireland during the early 1990s.

The Constable and her colleague Paul Slaine were travelling in an unmarked police car, the first vehicle in a two-car patrol, when it was hit with a Mark 12 mortar along Merchants Quay, Newry, on March 27, 1992.

The device ripped through the RUC vehicle sending it crashing into a row of parked cars. The mortar had been hidden in a parked car nearby and, according to bomb experts, it was triggered from the other side of the Newry Canal by a flash-gun unit.

Constable McMurray was rushed to Daisy Hill Hospital but died from her injuries a short time later.

She was the sixth policewoman to be killed during the Troubles and the 37th person to die in Troubles related incidents during 1992.

Her colleague Constable Slaine lost both his legs in the attack and spent eight months in hospital recovering.