Relatives of Omagh bomb victims have expressed their outrage after the British government confirmed it is to pay compensation to the family of a dissident Republican murdered by former associates in the organization.
Convicted Real IRA man Kieran Doherty was 31 when he was kidnapped, stripped and shot dead in Derry three years ago.
He had served time for robbery and membership of the Real IRA in the Republic of Ireland.
Now Northern Ireland’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel is to pay ‘substantial’ compensation to his mother Christine and grandmother.
They claim Doherty wanted to move on with his life after he was released and had been planning to marry his partner according to a report in the Belfast Telegraph newspaper.
The Real IRA, responsible for the Omagh bomb which killed 29 people, has admitted killing Doherty who was also subjected to harassment by M15 according to his family.
An uncle has confirmed that the family will receive ‘substantial’ compensation for his death.
That has been slammed by Michael Gallagher whose son Aidan, was among the 29 people blown up by the Real IRA in Omagh in August 1998.
Gallagher told the paper that the amounts of compensation paid out to the victims of the Omagh atrocity were ‘scandalous’.
He said: “The families of children under 18 who died in Omagh were paid £7,500.
“If the rules of compensation have changed, then it is important that people who have lost out in the past, should benefit from that change.”
Doherty’s uncle Vinnie Coyle revealed his family are happy with the amount of compensation.
He said: “But what’s more important to the family is, in their opinion, Kieran’s name has been cleared because the PSNI evidence, and the evidence that the PSNI produced on behalf of MI5 and the security services, did not stand up to very, very close scrutiny.
“The family has suffered as well. They are victims and it’s my belief, and the belief of the Doherty family, that victims should be fully, openly and honestly compensated for acts carried out on family members.”
Ulster Unionist member of the Northern Ireland Assembly Tom Elliott said compensation should be awarded on a fair basis. Some families of murdered security force members got a pittance.
He said: “To hear that a very substantial amount has been paid to the family of what was a Real IRA member, then it really does sicken me to hear that difference.”