Brother of Republican killed by UVF speaks of devastation as new inquest opens

Sam Marshall was killed by the UVF in 1990 Credit: Pacemaker

The brother of a former republican prisoner killed by loyalist paramilitaries has spoken of the damage his death had on their family and community.

Sam Marshall was 31-years-old when he was killed by the UVF on March 7 1990 as he left a police station in Lurgan. Mr Marshall's family has previously expressed concerns of state collusion due to the fact that he was under heavy security force surveillance at the time of the attack.

John Marshall, Mr Marshall's elder brother, spoke at the opening of the inquest in Belfast on Monday about the impact of his brother's death.

He said: "Sam's death on March 7 1990 had a devastating effect on his family"

Mr Marshall became involved with republican politics following his release from prison in 1982, where he became a focal point in the community in Lurgan, his brother told the court.

The family are hoping the inquest will give them answers they have been waiting 33 years for.

He added: "Several thousand people attended Sam's funeral on 10 March. This indicates the high regard he was held in within his local community. We see it as the only credible process whereby the full circumstances of Sam's death can be properly investigated."

Frank O'Donoghue, the consul for coroner Judge Gilpin, said the inquest will seek to answer questions about the broader circumstances surrounding Mr Marshall's death. The first part of the inquest will focus on the evidence from the scene of the shooting.

Mr O'Donoghue said: "Evidence relating to issues of greater controversy will be left to later modules,"

At the time of the shooting, Mr Marshall was with two other men who were injured in the attack, Colin Duffy and Tony McCaughey.

The court heard that Mr Duffy gave a statement after the shooting where he disclosed that himself and Mr Marshall would vary their routes to and from the police station.

Mr Duffy also said in his statement that they noticed a car driving past them several times and he believed this car to be a part of a surveillance operation being carried out by the police and the British Army.

A previous Historical Enquiries Team (HET) report found that a number of undercover soldiers were deployed near the site of the shooting, with their commander monitoring from a remote location.

The inquest is set to continue with input from civilian witnesses.

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