New inquest ordered into 1991 killing of Co Tyrone man Ian Sproule

South East Fermanagh Foundation has welcomed the decision, describing the 23-year-old civilian as an ‘innocent Protestant’ who was targeted by the Provisional IRA

A fresh inquest has been ordered into the killing of a man in Co Tyrone in 1991.

Ian Sproule, 23, was shot dead at his home on the outskirts of Castlederg, with the Provisional IRA suspected as being involved.

Attorney general for Northern Ireland Dame Brenda King has now ordered a new inquest into his death. The inquest aims to establish a meaningful account of the circumstances of the death, and address rumour and suspicion surrounding the murder.

The South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) – which supports Mr Sproule’s family – has welcomed the decision.


The foundation has described Mr Sproule as an innocent Protestant civilian who was targeted by the IRA close to the Border of the Republic of Ireland.

It further claims the terrorists “had been provided with a Garda sighting document containing Ian’s personal details and photograph”.

“No one has ever been held accountable for this act of collusion between the Provisional IRA and a member of An Garda Síochána,” SEFF has said in a statement.

The Sproule family met former taoiseach Micheál Martin in Dublin last July as part of their campaign.

SEFF has urged the Irish Government to work with the new inquest to help uncover answers surrounding Mr Sproule’s killing. “For 30-plus years, Ian’s surviving family have fought hard to advance justice, truth and accountability concerning his sectarian-motivated murder, the family have met a former taoiseach, foreign affairs ministers, secretaries of state and many others,” they said.

“The authorities in the Republic of Ireland [inclusive of An Garda Síochána] cannot repeat the mistakes made at the Kingsmill inquest. That disclosure process was protracted and piecemeal and where to this day AGS evidence provided to the Kingsmill inquest remains secret and has never been published.

“Nothing short of full disclosure and full transparency will be acceptable in this case. There are stark questions requiring answers including around potential collaborators within AGS and their relationship with the Provisional IRA.”

DUP MLA Diane Dodds welcomed confirmation of a new inquest, describing it as a “testament to the Sproule family’s determination and courage”.

“They have never ceased in their quest to secure truth and justice for the brutal murder of an innocent young man,” she said. - PA