THE family of an IRA man, shot dead as part of an alleged RUC shoot-to-kill policy, have taken the fight to uncover the truth surrounding his death to the House of Lords.
Gervaise McKerr was one of three unarmed IRA men shot dead by the police near Lurgan on November 11 1982.
In 2001 the European Court of Human Rights ordered the British government to pay £10,000 to the families of 12 men – including 10 IRA men – shot dead in controversial circumstances over a 10-year period.#
The cases included that of Mr McKerr and the court ruled that investigations into the killings breached Article Two ‘the right to life’ – of the European Con-vention of Human rights.
Calls for inquiries into the RUC’s operation of an alleged ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy and alleged security force collusion in murder.
Britain’s most senior police officer, Sir John Stevens, has already confirmed that elem-ents of the RUC colluded in the 1989 murders of Pat Finucane and Adam Lambert in 1987.
On Monday and Tuesday the House of Lords will be presented with the circumstances of Gervaise McKerr’s killing.
Madden and Finucane Solicitors, who are representing the McKerr family said: “Despite the ruling of the human rights court in Strasbourg nearly three years ago, the government have confirmed that they do not propose to carry out any further investigation into the circumstances of the McKerr case.
“The government have continued to defend their position and have appealed to the House of Lords, arguing that they should not be obliged to investigate murders, committed by their own security forces, which occurred prior to October 2000, the date the Human Rights act came into effect.
“The outcome of the case will affect a number of other lethal force cases currently before the courts in Northern Ireland.”
Last night SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood backed the McKerr family’s plight.
“The SDLP fully supports the McKerr family in their search for truth and accountability,” Mr Attwood said.
“It is clear that there was a shoot-to-kill policy in the 1980’s – and the British government has been trying to avoid coming clean on it.
“It is disgraceful that they have fought the McKerrs all the way to the House of Lords. The McKerrs should not have to go through this long battle to get to the truth.”