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Gerard Casey (Irish republican)

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Gerard Casey (Irish republican)


Gerard Casey (c. 1960 – 4 April 1989) was a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, 1st North Antrim Brigade.

Casey a Catholic, first joined the IRA in 1985 although his membership was clandestine.[1] In October 1988 Casey's home in Shamrock Park outside Rasharkin (Ros Earcáin) was raided by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). While there they removed a legally held shotgun and drew maps of the interior of the house. Casey was charged for possession of explosives, and was taken away to Castlereagh holding centre.[2][3][1]

On 4 April 1989 members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a loyalist paramilitary group, entered the home and fatally shot Casey as he slept. Two men, wearing balaclavas and green army jackets, burst into his house and shot him with a shotgun and a pistol from close range as he slept. Only Casey was killed in the attack; his wife, who was beside him in the bed, and three children were not harmed.[1] The funeral was kept private for family members only. Neighbours described him as "a quiet family man with no interest in any political activities", and even Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley condemned the killing as "a diabolical crime showing devilish viciousness" such was the lack of knowledge about his IRA membership.[1] The Conflict Archive on the Internet states that Casey was killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), in disagreement with other sources.[4]

The fact that Casey's IRA membership had not been well-known led to the IRA suggesting that the security forces had passed on information about his membership to the loyalists.[1] His relatives maintained that there was RUC collusion with those who killed Casey, and no-one has been charged with his murder. Casey said before his death that his life had been threatened by the RUC.[3] Sinn Fein have called for a full and independent investigation into his death.[5]

Casey's brother Liam, also a member of the IRA, had been killed in a car accident two years previously in 1987.[6][7]

In 2005 Gerard Casey's wife Una and the relatives of other murdered republicans criticised Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) member John Dallat for not condemning the murders at the time but later raising them for political opportunity. Dallat responded by saying he condemned all murders.[8]

Soon after coming to office in 2010 Attorney General for Northern Ireland John Larkin ordered a new inquest into Casey's death.[9]

References

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