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13 March 1997 Edition

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Back issue: Strabane inquest - further revelations

There were further revelations this week of an RUC/British army contrived shoot-to-kill cover-up at the continuing Strabane inquest into the deaths of local IRA Volunteers Charles Breslin and Martin and David Devine.

On Monday, 9 March, an RUC member called Bucannan, of the Headquarters Mobile Support Unit (HMSU), gave evidence that, by some strange `coincidence' his entire 30 strong unit just happened to be on duty in Strabane Barracks on the night of the fatal shootings.

(The unit normally operates from Fort George army base in Derry and its members have been involved in other controversial shoot-to-kill incidents. They are also under the direct command of RUC Assistant Chief Constable James Crutchley who arrived in record time from Belfast on the morning of the shooting.)

Bucannan claimed that he and the rest of his unit were in the sleeping quarters of Strabane Barracks when they were awakened at 5.10am by loud banging in the corridors and someone shouting: ``Charles Breslin is dead!'' Solicitors were quick to note the time and the glaring discrepancy between Bucannan's evidence and that of all previous crown forces witnesses who claimed that British soldiers firing into the field at the Volunteers did not cease fire until 5.15am.

According to the same witnesses it was several hours after the shooting before any of the bodies were positively identified, which suggests that there were those in the barracks aware of the shoot-to-kill operation underway that morning.

An Phoblacht 12 March 1987

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