COUSIN OF BOMB SUSPECT WAS TOP PROVO; But gun victim denies being a terrorist.
Gareth Doris, 19, was shot in the stomach on Wednesday night after two men hurled a grenade at the fortified RUC base in Coalisland, Co Tyrone.
Doris has denied any involvement with terrorist activity. But he was later revealed to be the cousin of IRA hitman Tony Doris, who was killed in an SAS ambush six years ago.
A squad of the crack troops lay in wait for leading Provo Tony and his two accomplices - Lawrence McNally and Peter Ryan - when they went on a murder mission in Coagh, Co Tyrone, in June 1991.
The soldiers opened fire on their stolen car, pumping over 200 rounds of ammunition into the Vauxhall Cavalier before it burst into flames.
Two IRA assault rifles were discovered alongside their incinerated corpses in the car's charred shell.
One of the Doris family's neighbours in Coalisland said young Gareth had grown up close to Tony's home.
The neighbour said: "They lived just round the corner from one another and knew each other well.
"Wee Gareth was very upset when Tony was killed and he would have been at the funeral."
But the neighbour added: "Gareth was a good lad. He was very quiet and never in any bother as far as I remember."
The teenager was wounded after a grenade blew a hole in the perimeter fence of the Coalisland RUC base.
Troops who believed they had spotted the men responsible opened fire with pistols and automatic rifles.
Doris was hit in the stomach and fell to the ground.
Within minutes more than 200 angry locals descended on the scene and the squaddies kept them at bay by firing further rounds of ammunition into the sky.
Doris underwent surgery in South Tyrone Hospital, Dungannon, and was arrested while in his hospital bed.
A cousin of the wounded teenager, Sinn Fein councillor Brendan Doris, said Doris was stable but still in pain.
"He's out of danger, but he's on morphine," he said.
"He absolutely denies being involved in terrorist activity of any description."
Last night he was expected to be transferred under armed guard to the Musgrave Park military hospital in Belfast.
Searches by security forces meant hundreds of local residents were forced to evacuate their homes close to the RUC base.
Meanwhile, the RUC confirmed they were questioning two local men in connection with Wednesday night's attack.
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Mar 28, 1997|
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