Early life[ edit ] He was born in Camlough , County Armagh , his parents being Brian Collins and his wife Kathleen Cumiskey; his farmer father dealt in livestock, and was involved in cattle smuggling. Kathleen Collins was a devout Catholic , and he was brought up under her influence with a sense of awe for the martyrs of that religion in Irish history, in its conflicts with Protestantism. Another factor in his radicalization at this time was a Law tutor at university who had persuaded him that the newly formed Provisional Irish Republican Army was a means of opposing British military presence in Northern Ireland, as well as a vehicle for Marxist revolutionary politics, in line with the radical ideological expression of a younger generation in the late s - early s that were now replacing an old guard of a movement that had engaged in little more than petty acts of Fenian paramilitary activity in the ss. Around this time he married Bernadette, with whom he subsequently had four children. His planning was directly responsible for at least five deaths, including that of the Ulster Defence Regiment Major Ivan Toombs in January , with whom Collins worked in the Customs Station at Warrenpoint , and possibly three times that number.

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Twenty years on, police have revealed further details about their investigation as they made a renewed appeal for information Former IRA man Eamon Collins beside graffiti which appeared in Newry after his home had been set on fire.

Making a renewed appeal for information, police said a full DNA profile was extracted and analysis suggests this man suffered a severe injury during the "frenzied attack" on the father-of-four. They said they will be following a number of lines of inquiry in the weeks ahead and "those responsible should expect police attention". The barbaric nature of the attack on Collins was laid out in shocking detail at his inquest in When his body was found on a country road police initially thought it must have been a hit-and-run because of the extent of his injuries.

A police photograph of the murder scene on Dorans Hill There were more than 20 wounds to his face alone. He had been stabbed through the nose, the eye and the skull. Experienced coroner John Leckey said it was "one of the most ghastly, brutal murders I have experienced" and he hoped the "sub-human thugs" responsible would be identified. On the 15th anniversary of the killing, police revealed they had obtained a DNA profile from the scene. Part of a hunting knife was also recovered.

A compass from the handle of a hunting knife similar to one used by the killers of Eamon Collins A hunting knife similar to the one used by the killers of Eamon Collins A man arrested the following month was released unconditionally, as were three men questioned later that year.

Before the murder, Collins had complained of a campaign of intimidation which included an arson attack on his car and one that destroyed the family home he was renovating outside the town. Do I get executed on the street? Eamon Collins appeals for an end to a campaign of intimidation shortly before his murder in January More than 40 people were arrested. He later retracted his statements and was acquitted himself of dozens of charges when a judge ruled his confessions were unsafe.

He spent time working in Scotland and with Newry-born priest Fr Peter McVerry in impoverished areas of Dublin, before returning to Newry after the ceasefires. But rather than keep a low profile, he spoke out about his paramilitary past, taking part in a TV documentary and in publishing a book, Killing Rage, which described in chilling detail his actions in the IRA.

He wrote: "By exposing myself to the anger of my former comrades and the families of my victims, I wanted to show that I had thought long and hard about what had happened and that it is possible to become a different person - as we all have to become different people if we are to live together in Northern Ireland without political violence. On the morning of January 27 , he did not return. His body was instead found at around 6am at Dorans Hill, a short distance away.

However, that past was behind him and he himself had publicly rejected violence and turned away from those involved in such violence. Eamon Collins wrote the book Killing Rage about his time in the IRA "At the time of his brutal murder, Eamon was simply a devoted husband and a loving father.

The killers left in their destructive wake a grieving widow and four fatherless children. We believe this DNA profile was left by one of the killer gang. With the advances in DNA technology, I believe we are close to identifying this person. In this instance, the DNA profile was extracted from blood left at the scene.

Forensic analysis of the blood tells us that the person who left it was male, and that he himself suffered a severe injury during this frenzied attack. Enjoy reading the Irish News?


Killing rage

Eamon Collins was knocked down and stabbed with a hunting knife around the head a short distance from his home in Newry in January The Police Service of Northern Ireland PSNI has confirmed that a year-old man was arrested at his house in the border town on Tuesday and is being questioned in connection with the killing. Collins detailed his life in the IRA in the critically acclaimed book Killing Rage, which explained how he set up work colleagues for assassination. He also incurred the wrath of South Armagh republicans by giving evidence against Thomas "Slab" Murphy in a Dublin libel trial. Murphy lost his libel case against the Sunday Times. Collins was arrested in and charged with 50 terrorist offences including five murders and membership of the IRA. After his arrest, however, Collins turned supergrass, the term used for those prepared to give evidence against former colleagues.


Eamon Collins murder: police arrest man in South Armagh



Eamon Collins


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