THE daughter of an SDLP activist who was murdered by loyalist gunmen outside Moy nearly 40 years ago, has launched High Courtproceedings against the Chief Constable of the PSNI, the Ministry of Defence and the Secretary of State.
Denis, or ‘Dinny’ Mullen as he was known, died in a hail of gunfire at the home he shared with his wife Olive and two young children.
Mr Mullen had recently been appointed to the post of Ambulance Controller at South Tyrone Hospital, and was a well known SDLP activist who campaigned for civil rights along with his wife.
His daughter, Denise, and representatives of another Mid Ulster family, have served High Court Writs on the authorities, alleging that the British government and its agencies, “facilitated or otherwise sanctioned ‘collusion’” in the murders of their loved ones by the notorious Glenanne Gang.
The loyalist murder gang has been associated with the killings of up to 120 people in a terrorist spree which spanned a five year period in the late 1970s across Mid Ulster.
The family of Aughamullan man, Patrick Falls, who died in a gun attack on Falls’ Bar on November 20, 1974, is also pursuing legal action, which is being taken on their behalf by KRW Law Human Rights Lawyers.
Kevin Winters, KRW Law spokesman, explained: “A total of 32 families have agreed to take part in the mass litigation which will allege that the British Government and its agencies, the Police, the military and the Northern Ireland Office facilitated or otherwise sanctioned ‘collusion’.
“The law suits lodged in the High Court in Belfast claim damages for personal injuries, distress and post traumatic stress by reason of misfeasance in public office, negligence, assault, battery, conspiracy to perform an individual act and breach of statutory duty.”
According to the families’ lawyer, “The failure of the PSNI to sanction an overarching, thematic HET Report linking all of the atrocities together and the recent collapse of the Haass proposals on The Past has left many families with little alternative but to take legal action”.
The test civil action has been supported by some findings made by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) together with archive researching by the Pat Finucane Centre (PFC) as set out in Lethal Allies - British Collusion in Ireland, concluded the legal representative.