Politicians welcome conviction of Swatragh man for IRA murder

Funeral of John Proctor in 1981.
Funeral of John Proctor in 1981.

Mid Ulster MLA Sandra Overend said the murder of John Proctor was a particularly callous and cruel crime, even by the awful standards of the time”.

The UUP assembly member claimed republicans were exposed in their attempts to re-write history.

“The murder of John Proctor exposes that as a total and utter lie,” she said.

“A family was left devastated as a result of the cowardly actions of a gang of murderers and 32 years later that family is still having to deal with the consequences of that dreadful night.

“That is the reality of the IRA’s campaign of violence.”

Mrs Overend added: “It is also a stark reminder of the risks that were run on a daily basis throughout the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s - both on and off duty - by the men and women who donned the uniform of the RUC, the UDR and the Prison service. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid.”

TUV leader Jim Allister had spoken to the family of Mr Proctor and said they had been rewarded in their search for justice.

“Murder is murder and has no sell-by date. The particularly callous nature of Reserve Constable Proctor’s death highlights the nature of the crimes Mr Larkin was suggesting should be forgotten.

“I know from my discussions with this family how crucial the pursuit of the killer was to them. Their relentless insistence on justice was rewarded with the emergence of DNA findings. Such can happen for other families.