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Gerard Casey (Irish republican)

Gerard Casey on an unknown date

Gerard Casey (c. 1960 – 4 April 1989) was member of the 1st North Antrim Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

Shamrock Park where Casey resided and the scene of his killing

Casey a Catholic, first joined the IRA in 1985. Like some of his colleagues, his membership was clandestine.[1] In October 1988 Casey's home in Shamrock Park outside Rasharkin (Ros Earcáin) was raided by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). While there they removed a legally held shotgun and drew maps of the interior of the house. Casey was charged with possession of explosives, and was taken away to Castlereagh holding centre, where he was supposedly tortured for information on his fellow volunteers in the IRA. Security forces at the time assured Mr Casey that he would either end up in a cell or a coffin as he once stated to various media outlets. Due to his unbreakable will no information was ever given to the security forces. This ultimately assured his death. Although never proven most if not all parties agree State sponsored collusion took place between loyalist paramilitaries and the security forces.[2][3][1]

On 4 April 1989 two members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA, a loyalist paramilitary group), wearing balaclavas and green army jackets, burst into his house and shot him with a shotgun and a pistol from close range as he slept. Only Casey was killed in the attack; his wife, who was beside him in the bed, and three children were not harmed.[1] The funeral was attended by a crowd of up to 500 mourners despite a huge police presence of around 200 officers. A minor altercation between police and mourners occurred. Neighbours described him as "a quiet family man with no interest in any political activities". Even though his membership was relatively unknown, Casey still remains to this day the most prominent republican to come out of North Antrim. And even Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley condemned the killing as "a diabolical crime showing devilish viciousness" such was the lack of knowledge about Casey's IRA membership.[1] The Conflict Archive on the Internet states that Casey was killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), in disagreement with other sources.[4]

The fact that Casey's IRA membership had not been well-known led to the suggestions that the security forces had passed on information about his membership to the loyalists.[1] Casey's relatives maintained that there was RUC collusion with those who killed Casey, and no-one has been charged with his murder. Casey said before his death that his life had been threatened by the RUC.[3] Sinn Féin have called for a full and independent investigation into his death.[5]

Casey's brother Liam, also a member of the IRA, had been killed in a car accident two years previously in 1987.[6][7]

In 2005 Gerard Casey's wife Una and the relatives of other murdered Irish republicans criticised Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) member John Dallat for not condemning the murders at the time but later raising them for political benefit. Dallat responded by saying he condemned all murders.[8]

Soon after coming to office in 2010 Attorney General for Northern Ireland John Larkin ordered a new inquest into Casey's death.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e David McKittrick et al, Lost Lives, Mainstream Publishing, 2008, p. 1168
  2. ^ Infoshop News - Remembering IRA Volunteer Gerard Casey
  3. ^ a b "Volunteer Gerard Casey remembered in Rasharkin" An Phoblacht 9 April 2009 Retrieved 24 October 2012
  4. ^ Sutton Index of Deaths 1989
  5. ^ "Rasharkin remembers Gerard Casey" Ballymoney Times 4 April 2007 Retrieved 24 October 2012
  6. ^ "Call for government to 'open the files on Casey case'". Ballymoney Times 10 April 2008 Retrieved 24 October 2012
  7. ^ "Rasharkin Volunteer honoured" An Phoblacht 7 April 2005 Retrieved 24 October 2012
  8. ^ "Victim's families critical of Dallat" Newzhound 6 December 2005 Retrieved 24 October 2012
  9. ^ The Attorney General and the past