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A new inquest has been ordered into the death of Ian Sproule in Co Tyrone in 1991. SEFF/PA

Victim's group urges Irish government to work with new inquest into 1991 killing of Ian Sproule

Ian Sproule, 23, was shot dead at his home on the outskirts of Castlederg in Co Tyrone, with the Provisional IRA suspected as being involved.

A FRESH INQUEST has been ordered into the killing of a man in Co Tyrone in 1991, with the Irish government being urged by a victim’s group to work with the new inquest.

Ian Sproule, 23, was shot dead at his home on the outskirts of Castlederg, with the Provisional IRA suspected as being involved.

Northern Ireland’s Attorney General Brenda King has now ordered a new inquest into his death.

It is aimed to establish a meaningful account of the circumstances of the death and address rumour and suspicion surrounding the murder.

The South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) – who support Sproule’s family – has welcomed the decision.

They have described Sproule as an innocent Protestant civilian who was targeted by the Provisional IRA close to the border.

They further claim that the terrorists “had been provided with a Garda sighting document containing Ian’s personal details and photograph”.

“No-one has ever been held accountable for this act of collusion between the Provisional IRA and a member of An Garda Síochána,” SEFF has said in a statement.

The Sproule family met with then-Taoiseach Micheál Martin in Dublin last July as part of their campaign.

SEFF has urged that the Irish Government work with the new inquest to help uncover answers around Sproule’s killing.

“For 30-plus years, Ian’s surviving family have fought hard to advance justice, truth and accountability concerning his sectarian-motivated murder, the family have met a former Taoiseach, foreign affairs ministers, secretaries of state and many others,” they said.

“Confirmation by Attorney General that a new inquest has been ordered is welcomed by Ian’s family and must herald a new approach in how agencies in both jurisdictions of this island deal with their concerns and unresolved questions.

“The authorities in the Republic of Ireland (inclusive of An Garda Síochána) cannot repeat the mistakes made at the Kingsmill inquest.

“That disclosure process was protracted and piecemeal and where to this day AGS evidence provided to the Kingsmill Inquest remains secret and has never been published.

“Nothing short of full disclosure and full transparency will be acceptable in this case. There are stark questions requiring answered including around potential collaborators within AGS and their relationship with the Provisional IRA.”

DUP MLA Diane Dodds welcomed confirmation of a new inquest, describing it as a “testament to the Sproule family’s determination and courage”.

“They have never ceased in their quest to secure truth and justice for the brutal murder of an innocent young man,” she said.

Dodds added: “The collusion between members of the Garda and the Provisional IRA has been pointed to previously.

“The then assistant chief constable stated under oath at the Smithwick tribunal that he was satisfied beyond doubt that there was a leak from the Garda to the IRA in respect of Ian’s murder.

“The inquest can shine a fresh light on something which has not received sufficient scrutiny, and Ian’s case in particular has never been properly investigated by authorities in the Republic of Ireland.”

Press Association