Date set for inquest into 1990 death of republican shot outside police station

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An inquest into the death of former republican prisoner Sam Marshall is to take place in March 2023 (PA) (PA Media)
An inquest into the death of former republican prisoner Sam Marshall is to take place in March 2023 (PA) (PA Media)

An inquest into the death of a former republican prisoner killed outside a police station will take place next March.

Sam Marshall, 31, was ambushed by gunmen from the loyalist UVF terrorist group as he left a police station in Lurgan along with fellow republicans Tony McCaughey and Colin Duffy on March 7 1990.

Judge Gilpin has been appointed as a coroner to preside over the inquest.

A preliminary hearing on Wednesday was told it is planned to hear the inquest over two weeks starting on March 20 either at the Laganside Courts in Belfast or the Royal Courts of Justice.

A photo of former republican prisoner Sam Marshall sits on top of an HET report into his killing (PA) (PA Media)
A photo of former republican prisoner Sam Marshall sits on top of an HET report into his killing (PA) (PA Media)

It is expected to hear from 30 civilian witnesses, either giving evidence in person or by a statement.

Mark Robinson, representing the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), said inquests into the deaths of Danny Doherty and William Fleming, who were shot dead in the grounds of Gransha Hospital in Londonderry in 1984 and an inquest into the deaths of four IRA men shot in Clonoe, Co Tyrone in 1992 are listed to take place shortly afterwards.

“This will put an extreme pressure on the teams that service the various inquests,” Mr Robinson said, adding that preparation for these inquests will be “very intensive”.

“To run them concurrently or even very close in sequence is going to cause significant difficulty.”

Judge Gilpin said while aiming to start the inquest in March, he would take account of a written submission on the matter.

However, Malachy McGowan, representing the Marshall family, urged that there be no further delays.

“I think there was a position paper lodged by the next of kin in 2015 which identified that this was the oldest outstanding inquest in the jurisdiction – and we’re now seven years on,” Mr McGowan said.

“There would be a concern at any proposal from any party that it be further delayed.

“If the MoD or the PSNI intend to put in submissions, then we would simply ask for an opportunity to respond to those submissions.”

Another preliminary hearing will be held on October 12.