Ulster Unionist Justice spokesperson Tom Elliott MLA has voiced his concerns at the arrest of Shankill bomber Sean Kelly in relation to the shooting incident in Ardoyne on Tuesday night and in particular the fact that the Police first stated publicly that the shooting was paramilitary style, then said it was not linked to paramilitaries and finally changed it to “paramilitary style” once Kelly was released “unconditionally.”
Mr Elliott said:
“Obviously I unreservedly condemn the shooting of the young man in the Ardoyne area on Tuesday night.
The involvement of the Shankill bomber Sean Kelly in Police Inquiries is deeply worrying and even though he has been released I believe the Secretary of State should take immediate steps to review his licence in parallel with the police inquires.
I am certainly very curious as to why the Police would initially say that the shooting was “paramilitary style”, then reclassify it as not linked to paramilitaries once it was made known that Sean Kelly was being questioned, and then to change their story again, after his release.
Bearing in mind the arrest of convicted IRA murderer Sean Kelly and his links to Sinn Fein, there will be many people who will worry that the Police have come under severe political pressure to distance mainstream republicans from this shooting. This would certainly explain why the shooting was reclassified as “non paramilitary”, Kelly’s subsequent release and the further reclassification of the shooting as “paramilitary style.”
If the rule of law is to mean anything then the Police must be able to follow the evidence wherever it leads, and if it leads them to the door of the Shankill bomber or any other member of the IRA or Sinn Fein, then justice must take its course, no matter how inconvenient that may be for Sinn Fein or indeed anyone else.”