IRA Shankill bomber Sean Kelly leaves prison with Eddie Copeland

IRA Shankill bomber Sean Kelly leaves prison with Eddie Copeland

CONVICTED Shankill fish shop bomber Sean Kelly is being questioned by detectives over a republican punishment shooting.

Kelly, 39, was detained on Tuesday night after an 18-year-old was shot in both legs near the Everton Complex, north Belfast.

The victim was critically injured but is now said to be in a stable condition.

He can be held for up to 48 hours before he is either charged, released, or police can apply for an extension to hold him in custody.

His detention could have legal implications for his early release licence.

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, those released early are told they must not re-engage in acts of violence or their licence will be revoked.

Kelly was given nine life sentences for his role in the Shankill bombing in 1993, but was released in July 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Kelly was convicted for his part in planting a bomb on the Shankill Road in October 1993.

The IRA planned to UFF chief kill Johnny Adair and senior members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

But the bomb exploded prematurely, killing nine innocent Protestant civilians.

An 11-second fuse was meant to detonate the bomb after the IRA gang had shouted a warning.

Thomas Begley, a fellow volunteer in the Belfast Brigade, was killed in the botched attack, which left Kelly injured.

Hhe lost an eye and had limited use of his left arm.

Kelly was arrested after being picked up by rescuers searching for survivors in the wreckage.

The judge at his trial in January 1995, Lord Justice McDermott, said: “This wanton slaughter of so many innocent people must rank as one of the most outrageous atrocities endured by the people of this province in the last quarter of a century.”

Sean Kelly held over punishment shooting in north Belfast

Sean Kelly held over punishment shooting in north Belfast

Kelly served seven years of his life sentence and was released in July 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

During the Holy Cross dispute, Kelly was reported by Lt. Col. Tim Collins to be present during republican violence in Ardoyne.

Kelly was returned to prison on 18 June 2005 when his early release was suspended amid allegations that he had been involved in rioting.

Sinn Féin claimed he was trying to calm tensions.

Peter Hain, Northern Ireland Secretary, said that he had directed the arrest and return to prison of Sean Kelly on the basis of ‘security information’ available to him.

He said he was satisfied that Sean Kelly “had become re-involved in terrorism”.

Kelly was re-released on 28 July later the same year. The next day the IRA ordered an end to its armed terro campaign.










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