House of Lords Judgments – Inquests into the deaths of Martin McCaughey And Pearse Jordan

The father of a man shot dead by members of the SAS near Loughgall in 1990 has a won a five year legal battle for the right to see British Army intelligence reports concerning his son.

Following a six day hearing in January, the House of Lords ruled this morning that the Chief Constable must disclose the reports in full and without redactions to the Coroner who will hear the Inquest into the deaths of Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew who were shot dead on 9 October 1990.

Owen McCaughey began the legal challenge after the Chief Constable refused to release the unredacted intelligence reports, together with a copy of the report into the shootings by the RUC Investigating Officer to the Coroner.

The House of Lords also ruled today that the jury which hears the Inquest into the death of Pease Jordan, shot in the back and killed by an RUC officer on the Falls Road, Belfast on 25 November 1992, must be allowed to make findings of fact when the Inquest into his death resumes.

Solicitor for both men, Peter Madden of Madden & Finucane, Solicitors, said today:

“We welcome the two decisions of the House of Lords, both of which will have serious implications for the Inquests. The RUC, now the PSNI, can no longer dictate which information it chooses to withhold from scrutiny. A previous challenge on behalf of Hugh Jordan led to a change to the rules governing inquests and for the first time members of the RUC and the British Army responsible for lethal force shootings are compellable witnesses at Inquests and they will be cross-examined by lawyers for the families. Now the coroner can make factual findings pointing towards a conclusion that criminal or civil responsibility exists.”