SECOND MAN ARRESTED OVER IRA MURDER OF INFORMER EAMON COLLINS

Former supegrass Eamon Collins murdered by the IRA in 1999

Former supegrass Eamon Collins murdered by the IRA in 1999

DETECTIVES from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch investigating the murder of Eamon Collins in Newry 15 years ago have arrested a second man over the brutal slaying.

The 55-year was detained earlier this afternoon in Newry, Co Down.

Earlier at an address in the city this morning a 42-year-old was also arrested during a dawn swoop.

A search was carried out at a property in the city by detectives and officers from a specialist Tactical Support Group (TSG).

The suspects have been taken to Antrim police station for questioning.

Mr Collins was knocked down, beaten and stabbed while out walking his dogs on 27 January 1999 in the Dorans Hill area of the city.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery, from Serious Crime Branch, said: “I would ask those with information about Mr Collins’ murder, particularly those in the Barcroft estate, to think again about the awfulness of what happened and about the Collins family. It is never too late to come forward.”

Anyone with information can contact detectives on 02890 700 727 or 07585 228 283. Alternatively, people who do not want to provide their personal details can phone the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In February, detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch arrested a 59-year-old man in Newry.

During the pre-planned arrest operation, the suspect’s house was also searched.

Customs officer Collins collected information on RUC officers and Special Branch detectives and helped to set up murders.

He also helped to recruit new members into the IRA.

He was arrested in 1985 and charged with 50 terrorist offences including five murders and membership of the IRA.

After his arrest, however, he turned supergrass or ‘Queen’s Evidence’ against former colleagues.

More than 40 suspects were arrested, but most were released after Eamon Collins had a change of heart.

He walked free from Belfast Crown Court after the judge dismissed his alleged confessions.

He later wrote a book, Killing Rage, which was highly critical of the IRA.

Police revealed in January this year that they had obtained DNA from the scene of his murder.

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