Police arrest man in connection with ‘horrific and grotesque’ Newry murder
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Detectives from the Serious Crime Branch investigating the murder of Eamon Collins in Newry 15 years ago have arrested a 59 year old man.
He was detained in the city this afternoon and a house has been searched. The suspect has been taken to Antrim police station for questioning.
Eamon Collins was a former member of the Newry branch of the Provisional IRA, where he carried out the role of ‘Intelligence Officer’.
After he became disillusioned with the organisation he became one of its harshest critics, going on TV dismissing the IRA’s methods and strategy. The married father of four also turned super grass but later retracted his statements after receiving death threats.
His outspoken criticism of the IRA culminated in a tell-all book called ‘Killing Rage’ where Collins spoke in depth of his involvement in murders and attempted murders in the local area.
The 45 year old paid dearly for his criticisms. On 27th January 1999 he was out walking his dog in the early morning on the Doran’s Hill area of the city.
He was subsequently knocked down, beaten and stabbed beyond recognition in what a Coroner described in 2007 as a ‘brutal, horrific and grotesque murder’.
Last month murder detectives revealed they had made a DNA breakthrough in the unsolved case and made a fresh appeal for information.
Speaking last month Detective Inspector Peter Montgomery, from the PSNI’s serious crime branch, said, “Eamon Collins had a well-publicised past but he was a husband and a father and his life was taken in the most brutal and barbaric manner.
“We have a DNA profile from the scene so we are not without hope that one of the killer gang will be identified through the course of police inquiries.
“It is 15 years since Eamon Collins was murdered. Much has happened in the intervening years in terms of politics, policing and allegiances. I would ask those with information about Mr Collins’ murder, particularly those in the Barcroft estate, to think again about the awfulness of what happened and about his family. It is never too late to come forward.”