Concern over murder probe

Relatives of Catholic murder victim Daniel McColgan are seeking the disclosure of police documents amid growing family concern over the PSNI’s handling of the investigation.

The McColgan’s unease over the state of the probe came at a preliminary hearing into the inquest into the death of the father-of-one held in Belfast yesterday.

The 20-year-old postman was gunned down by the UFF’s South East Antrim ‘brigade’ on January 12 2002 as he arrived for work at a sorting office in the loyalist Rathcoole estate on the outskirts of north Belfast.

Outrage over the killing resulted in thousands of people marching in anti-sectarian rallies throughout

the north.

It is believed police are confident of the identity of those involved but despite several arrests, no-one has been charged with murder.

At the time police said the killing was well planned and involved up to 10 people and more recently it has been reported that one suspect is currently in jail on an unrelated offence.

John ‘Grugg’ Gregg, the leader of the UFF unit behind the murder, is believed to have sanctioned Mr McColgan’s killing. Gregg was shot dead in February of last year during a loyalist feud.

The McColgans’ heartache has been compounded by a number of loyalist attacks on the young man’s grave.

In January, on the second anniversary of the victim’s murder, police admitted that the investigation had “progressed as far as possible with the information available to date”.

The PSNI said that detectives’ commitment to apprehending those responsible has never wavered, insisting it is “as firm today as it was two years ago”.

However, at the time Mr Mc-Colgan’s mother Marie voiced her belief that the hunt for her son’s was effectively over.

At Belfast’s Old Town Hall Court-house yesterday, deepening concern over the PSNI’s handling of the investigation emerged, with the family’s legal team (Madden and Finucane solicitors) seeking more police documentation.

Coroner John Leckey confirmed he has depositions but does not have all the investigation material.

Mr Leckey said: “There maybe needs to be a different approach to inquests of this nature.

“There is an obligation on the state to adequately investigate the death of a citizen.

“Mr McColgan’s death does attract the requirement of Article Two (of the European Convention of Human Rights).”

Counsel for the PSNI said there was no objection to the disclosure of any relevant material, stressing that the force did not want to hinder the inquest, adding there would be “no question of withholding anything”.

The coroner set a deadline of August 30 for the receipt of police disclosure schedule of statements which will be forwarded to the McColgan family’s solicitors for further consideration.

The court was told that the furnishing of the documentation would be a “first step” to “see what there is in essence”.

Last night Mrs McColgan, who was not in court for the brief hearing, told of her deep frustration with the probe.

“As far as I know the investigation is still ongoing. But I don’t know where it is going, I can’t see anything happening,” she said.