Coroner’s plea for former quiz host Henry Kelly to assist in Troubles inquest

Coroner Joe McCrisken issued a public appeal for Henry Kelly and Vincent Browne to come forward after learning that efforts to contact broadcasters had proven unsuccessful.

Kelly and Browne were newspaper reporters in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles in the early 1970s.

They both went on to successful broadcasting careers, Kelly as host of the 1980s BBC game show ‘Going For Gold’ and Browne as a political and current affairs presenter on Irish channels such as RTE and TV3.

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Henry Kelly was a journalist at the height of the Troubles in the early 1970s

They have been identified as potential civilian witnesses in a new inquest into John Moran, who died following a bomb and gun attack at Kelly’s Bar on Belfast’s Whiterock Road in 1972.

The pub was packed with people watching a televised football match between England and West Germany on May 13 when a car bomb went off.

Mr Moran, 19, worked as a bartender and died 10 days later of injuries sustained in the blast.

Another man, Thomas McIlroy, died in a shootout after the bombing, while a third victim, Gerard Clarke, died of his injuries 17 years later.

A solicitor representing the coroner told a preliminary inquiry in Belfast yesterday that none of the former reporters had responded to correspondence from the coroner’s service.

“A combination of letters and emails and they still haven’t responded to any correspondence,” the attorney said.

In response, Mr McCrisken said he wanted to issue a public call for the men to come forward.

“We’d like to talk to Henry Kelly, and he’s the same Henry Kelly that I think of who was a journalist in the 1970s and 1980s and host of a show called ‘Going For Gold’.

“It’s the same Henry Kelly, we would like him to contact us.

“We would like him to contact us, and the second reporter is Vincent Browne, and we would like him to contact us as well.

“They may not know anything and they may not remember anything.

“But actually, if we can use the media in this regard, I’m asking Henry Kelly and Vincent Browne to get in touch with the Coroner’s Legacy Inquiry Unit in Belfast.”

Another lawyer involved in the hearing told the coroner that Browne could be contacted via RTE or TV3 (now known as Virgin Media Ireland).

The investigation into Mr. Moran is due to begin on May 23. A new preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 12.

Javier E. Swan