News Letter
16 April 2012

SINN Fein’s call for reconciliation has been dismissed as “another stunt” by the son of a UDR soldier murdered by the IRA 40 years ago this week.

Jim Elliott was 12 years old when his father James was abducted, tortured and executed in south Armagh.

James Elliott, who was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972

In a sickening attempt to kill more security forces, the IRA dumped his body along the side of the road near Newtownhamilton, where they had planted a series of landmines.

Yesterday, the Elliott family marked the 40th anniversary of the murder with a memorial service at the spot where James’ body was found.

“It brought back a lot of the pain and the distress of what happened at that time,” said Jim. “I can still remember clearly when we heard the news, it was total devastation.

“It really makes you think, all our own children have grown up without a grandfather, and myself and my brothers have been robbed of having a father for 40 years now.

“That is still very painful for us.”

He said he did not believe the call for reconciliation – made by Sinn Fein chairman Declan Kearney at Easter – was genuine.

“Why has it taken until now, for them to come out with this?” he asked.

“In all these years, no one has ever come forward. We all know that there are people in Sinn Fein who were the IRA, but they have never said a word.

“I don’t for one moment think that they will ever tell the truth about what happened to my father. It’s just a stunt.”

At the time of the murder, the IRA said James Elliott was killed when he drew a revolver and fired on his captors as he was being taken to a place of interrogation.

The RUC rejected this and said medical evidence proved he had been held for a day-and-a-half before being killed.

The family have since learned that two men were arrested in the Republic, but no one was ever charged with the murder.

Jim’s youngest brother Lester, who was only four years old when his father was killed, said his family would continue searching for truth and justice.

“There are so many questions, which have never been answered. We don’t understand why our father, who was a part-time soldier, was held for two days before they shot him. It doesn’t add up,” he said.

The memorial service was conducted by Pastor Barry Halliday.