2 November 2014 Edition
New inquest into RUC killing of Pearse Jordan
The unarmed 23-year-old IRA Volunteer was shot dead by the RUC on the Falls Road in 1992
THE upholding by the Court of Appeal of a High Court’s quashing of a 2012 inquest verdict into the shooting dead of unarmed IRA Volunteer Pearse Jordan in Belfast in 1992 opens the way for a fresh inquest into the controversial killing.
The Chief Constable of the PSNI and the inquest coroner were challenging the High Court decision delivered in January.
Pearse Jordan was shot dead by the RUC on the Falls Road in November 1992. The 23-year-old was unarmed when he was gunned down although the RUC initially issued statements claiming he was armed. It was considered by nationalists to have been a summary execution amongst a number of ‘shoot-to-kill’ assassinations carried out by the RUC.
No member of the undercover crown forces unit that killed him was ever brought before a court.
The PSNI has been held by the courts to be responsible for the long delay in holding an inquest.
When the inquest was eventually held, in 2012, it failed to reach agreement on key aspects of the killing of Pearse Jordan.
The jury was split on whether reasonable force was used in the circumstances, the state-of-belief on the part of the officer who fired the fatal shots, and whether any alternative course of action was open to him.
Pearse’s family mounted a legal challenge as part of their ongoing campaign to achieve justice.January’s High Court decision was based on a number of grounds, including a failure to disclose the Stalker/Sampson reports into other shoot-to-kill cases to the Jordan family and the decision to sit with a jury.
West Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan said of the Appeal Court ruling in mid-October:
“The judges clearly recognised that the original inquest was obviously flawed.
“This is yet another vindication of the long campaign for justice by Pearse’s parents, Hugh and Teresa.
“A fresh inquest will hopefully reveal the truth about Pearse’s killing.”