Breakthrough in IRA informer murder

Published Monday, 27 January 2014
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Police investigating the brutal murder of a former IRA man who turned informant have said they have made a DNA breakthrough in the hunt for the killers.

Breakthrough in IRA informer murder
A white Hyundai Pony car similar to the one used by the killers. (© PSNI)

Eamon Collins, 45, was beaten and stabbed beyond recognition on a country road in 1999 just outside Newry a short distance from his home in a suspected revenge attack for turning supergrass.

Collins was deliberately struck by a car while out for an early morning walk with his dogs on Doran's Hill before being beaten and stabbed numerous times in the face and head.

The father-of-four had received repeated death threats from republicans and it is believed Provisional IRA members from south Armagh murdered him.

Police said they have a DNA profile from the crime scene but issued a renewed appeal for information about the car used in the attack, a white Hyundai Pony, and a hunting knife, part of which was also recovered from the scene.

Detective Inspector Peter Montgomery, of the PSNI's serious crime branch, said: "Eamon Collins had a well-publicised past but he was a husband and a father and his life was taken in the most brutal and barbaric manner.

"We have a DNA profile from the scene so we are not without hope that one of the killer gang will be identified through the course of police inquiries.

It is 15 years since Eamon Collins was murdered. Much has happened in the intervening years in terms of politics, policing and allegiances.

Detective Inspector Peter Montgomery

"I would ask those with information about Mr Collins' murder, particularly those in the Barcroft estate, to think again about the awfulness of what happened and about his family. It is never too late to come forward."

Collins turned supergrass after being arrested by police in 1985 but relented and retracted his statements under pressure from his family.

He was subsequently charged with five murders and dozens of terrorist offences but was not convicted and returned to live in Newry in the staunchly republican Barcroft Estate.

In 1997, Collins wrote a devastating expose of the IRA, Killing Rage, based on his life as a terrorist.

He described the torture and murder of an undercover British Army officer in 1977 and how his body was horrifically disposed of.

Collins also wrote and featured in numerous articles for national newspapers.

Coroner John Leckey, at the inquest into Collins' death, said his murder was one of the most brutal, horrific and grotesque they had encountered.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
9 Comments
dylanmcd in derry wrote (326 days ago):
Denis there is no such thing as official PIRA business.What if the PIRA murdered a member of your family? would you be so blasé? I don't think so. We all know that no member of the PIRA will ever be prosecuted or jailed for any crimes and murders because of all the secret dealings done with the British government,and that includes murders that were committed after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.PSNI are just going through the motions.There will be no charges ,no prosecutions,no jailings and no justice for the families of the victims.
jackie in belfast wrote (327 days ago):
@Denis OhAinle in Boston, no one needs to investigate this ? You are having a laugh aren`t you ? Official PIRA business has more often than not ended up with somebody dead, are you saying that this organisation have the right to murder people ?
Paddy in NI wrote (327 days ago):
@denis.. Im afraid there is no suchthing as official ira business, you are seriously deluded. Shall the taliban have their 'officialism'? Grim...
paultbay in Belfast wrote (327 days ago):
as the murder took place after the Good Friday Agreement (1998) it will be treated as any other murder, not like the murders committed pre 1998
Blairsy in Belfast wrote (328 days ago):
Dennis tour deluded. Get these people behind bars ya fool! When a soldier or policeman does wrong he is accountable to the authorities that givern this land. When these coyboys do what they do which is normally illegal activity, who they governed or answerable to? Official PIRA business, behave yourself!
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