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Gervaise McKerr Case Reaches House of Lords

2 February, 2004

Upper Bann Sinn Féin Assembly member John O'Dowd has supported calls being made for a full independent inquiry into Shoot to Kill incidents in North Armagh in the 1980's. Mr O'Dowds call comes as the family of Gervaise McKerr launch a court bid in the House of Lords to force the British government to carry out an inquiry into his killing.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Gervaise McKerr was shot and killed by the RUC along with Eugene Toman and Sean Burns in November 1982. They were unarmed yet more than 100 rounds were fired into the car they were travelling in.

"Three years ago in a landmark legal victory the European Court demanded that a proper investigation into the circumstances of these killings and other state murders be carried out. The British government have repeatedly refused to give effect to this judgement.

" Because of this the McKerr family have been forced to go to the House of Lords. This is a test case and if successful will have serious repercussions for the British government.

" However it is a disgrace that the McKerr family have been forced into further legal action. The British government need to end their policy of concealment and need to face up to the legacy left by the policy of state sanctioned and state supported murder." ENDS

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