RUC destroyed potential murder evidence

Published Wednesday, 10 October 2012
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A mother whose teenage son was shot dead by the UVF in 1994, has told UTV her son's clothes, which may have contained vital evidence, were destroyed by the RUC.

RUC destroyed potential murder evidence
Gavin was shot dead by the UVF in 1994. (© UTV)

Maria McShane from Keady says she believes her son's murder files may have been incinerated as well, due to an asbestos scare at an RUC barracks in Armagh.

Gavin McShane, 17, was playing a video game in a taxi depot in Armagh when he was shot dead by the UVF on 18 May 1994.

Eighteen years after her son's murder, Maria McShane is still determined to see his killers brought to justice.

In 2000, the RUC admitted in a letter to the McShane family that the bloodstained clothes Gavin was wearing when he was killed were destroyed, because they were considered "a health hazard" and "it was the opinion of experts, the clothes were of no evidential value".

They added: "Lessons have now been learned from this and other similar tragedies."

Maria told UTV: "They took his clothes and then put them into an incinerator and destroyed the evidence that was there.

"I know that DNA has moved on and there could have been one small wee thing, but I will never get that chance to know that because they took it on themselves to destroy my child's clothes."

The Historical Enquiries Team has examined the case and concluded that there were "no new forensic opportunities in this case" and that there were no new lines of enquiry.

Ms McShane claims she has been told by the HET that Gavin's murder file, along with thousands of others were destroyed when asbestos was discovered in Gough barracks for Health and Safety reasons, but has since been told this might not be the case.

"Gavin was very very precious, everybody's child is precious and when your child is murdered, you think surely to God they will get who done it," she said.

The Historical Enquiries Team said it does not talk about individual cases.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
4 Comments
henry in north of ireland wrote (741 days ago):
seems the police are guilty of a crime of their own but then theres nothing new about that
decky in armagh wrote (742 days ago):
poor kid, the police were clearly protecting either themselves or informers by covering it up, typical
Peter in Armagh wrote (742 days ago):
Every day another example of just how vile the RUC were. And to think that hundreds of them are back on the job in the PSNI, 'investigating' historical events; it's sickening. This is another family which will never see justice done.
jackie in belfast wrote (742 days ago):
Hope Mrs McShane gets justice for her son,no one should have to go through this.
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