Government takes legal action in relation to inquest into GAA official’s murder

The Government is taking legal action in relation to an inquest into the death of a GAA official murdered by loyalist paramilitaries.

Sean Brown, 61, was abducted and killed by loyalist paramilitaries as he locked the gates at Bellaghy Wolfe Tones Club in Co Londonderry in May 1997.

No-one has ever been convicted of his murder.

Sean Brown inquest
GAA official Sean Brown was abducted and murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1997 (Liam McBurney/PA)

Mr Justice Kinney said his ability to examine Mr Brown’s death had been “compromised” by the extent of confidential state material being excluded from the proceedings on national security grounds.

He said he would write to Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris, calling on the Government to establish a public inquiry into the loyalist murder.

On Thursday, the Government said it was making a legal challenge.

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that an application for leave to apply for judicial review has been made relating to the inquest into the death of Sean Brown.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage given the matter is now the subject of judicial consideration.”

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