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2 December 2015

Does IRA killer Seamus Kearney have no shame? Anyone with decency would be begging forgiveness

June Proctor (now McMullin) with her newborn son John in 1981

Have you no shame, Seamus Kearney?

In August 1981, you were part of an IRA team that murdered John Proctor in the car park of the Mid Ulster Hospital in Magherafelt.

He was 25 years old and had just visited his wife and their newborn baby son when he was shot in the back.

You were in the IRA and thought him fair game, because he was in the RUC Reserve, doing his best to keep his community safe from people like you.

Left with two fatherless children, June Proctor, who had heard the gunshots in her ward, was devastated, but she is a woman of courage, who, even in her broken-hearted state, refused to be cowed.

You and your accomplices, she said, were "filthy cowards".

"They may think they are heroes, but every decent person knows them for what they really are."

Like her husband, she said, she would never give in to terrorists, but would "always fight them and defeat them".

It was more than 30 years before June - now Mrs McMullin - saw you brought to justice when DNA identified you and you were given a sentence of 20 years.

Normal people would think you would have been grateful that you had to serve only two years under the terms of the Belfast Agreement. But, no, you are not normal.

You used the law to get 48-hour periods of home leave and were unabashed that, having learned of this from the media, Mrs McMullin organised a petition objecting to such privileges and took legal action.

She was incensed, not only by your brazenness, but by the news that a second inquest was to be held into the deaths of eight IRA men and a civilian during a terror attack at Loughgall in 1987, while the victims of the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bombing in that same year were still awaiting a report from the Historical Enquiries Team investigation.

"There is all this talk here that there should not be a hierarchy of victims," she said, "but there absolutely should be. It seems like the less innocent you are, the more you matter."

"We would have saved a lot of money if there had have been a bullet put in Seamus Kearney, instead of wasting all this money on a court case," she added.

She was not calling for anyone's death, but merely pointing out that there has been more spent on you than she and her children got in compensation for her husband's murder.

And to add to her distress, she lost her High Court judicial review of weekend release.

So what did you do?

You instructed your lawyers to lodge a complaint with the PSNI about some of her remarks.

That is sick, as sick in its way as the marchers in the Orange Parade who in 1992 shouted pro-UDA slogans and held up five fingers outside the betting shop where five Catholics had been murdered a few months earlier.

Or the Sinn Fein politicians that erect memorials to murderers and call a children's park after Raymond McCreesh, who spent much of his young life trying to kill.

I suppose we should be grateful that the PPS have taken no action against June McMullin, but the fact that you had the brass neck to make the complaint is nauseating.

Johnny Proctor's widow and children are the victims, Mr Kearney.

You are the perpetrator.

If you had any common decency, you'd be begging their forgiveness.

But I guess you are as short of decency as you are of shame.

Ruth Dudley Edwards

© Ruth Dudley Edwards