Family claims PSNI collusion in 1994 Dublin pub murder

Martin Doherty shot dead on Pearse Street outside Widow Scallans pub

The Widow Scallan’s Pub in Pearse Street, Dublin, where Martin Doherty was killed. Photograph: The Irish Times

The Widow Scallan’s Pub in Pearse Street, Dublin, where Martin Doherty was killed. Photograph: The Irish Times


The family of a man killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force in Dublin more than 20 years ago is to sue the Police Service of Northern Ireland, alleging RUC collusion with the killers.

Martin Doherty died on Pearse Street after he was shot several times in the chest outside the Widow Scallans pub on May 21st, 1994.

Mr Doherty, reported to be a member of the IRA, was acting as a doorman for a republican social function in the pub when a loyalist gang planted 15kg of commercial explosive that failed to detonate.

The inquest into his death heard a Northern Ireland-registered car pulled up outside the pub and two men alighted to try to plant a “substantial” bomb in the pub. It also heard Mr Doherty was shot after he challenged the men, who then fled.

In a case due at Belfast High Court Mr Doherty’s family are to sue the PSNI because they believe the killing could have been prevented by the RUC.

The family’s legal representatives claim the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland “identified collusion between the UVF and the RUC Special Branch to the extent that the bomb attack and shooting could have been prevented if information known by RUC Special Branch had been provided to the An Garda Síochána”.

Murder weapon

The family have also complained to the police ombudsman, and say their complaint has been accepted for investigation. The statement of claim in the civil action against PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton alleges: “The deceased’s personal injuries and death were the result of the shooting that the defendants knew or suspected would occur as a result of the plan to commit premeditated murders at Widow Scallans pub.

“The Dublin bombing and shooting was carried out by loyalist paramilitaries of the UVF, some of whom who were agents of the defendant, and were assisted by members of the RUC in their terrorist activities.”

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said in reply to a query: “With one hour’s notice we are not able to research this query properly, however if there is a pending case against the chief constable it would be inappropriate to comment further.”