The family of a Newtownabbey postal worker shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries have urged a coroner to order 12 one-time suspects to give evidence at his inquest.
Lawyers for Daniel McColgan’s relatives also asked for an Edinburgh-based author who wrote a book about the UDA - which murdered the 20-year-old Catholic in 2002 - to be called as a witness.
The father-of-one was gunned down by a UDA gang as he arrived for work at the sorting office in Barna Square in the Rathcoole estate. No one has ever been convicted over the sectarian killing.
At a preliminary hearing at Belfast Coroner’s Court ahead of the scheduled inquest in March, barrister Andrew Moriarty, representing the McColgan family, told coroner John Leckey he would like the suspects to appear.
But Mr Leckey expressed doubts about the request, saying that press reports did not constitute evidence.
He stressed it was not the coroner’s job to quiz suspects on alleged involvement in murder.
“I don’t carry out a police investigation,” he said.
Mark Robinson, representing the PSNI, also questioned the proposed course of action.
“This is not a re-opening of the police investigation,” he said.
Mr Leckey told the court he had asked the senior detective who investigated the murder to prepare a statement for the inquest, which he hoped would cover the police’s involvement with the suspects.
Mr Moriarty also asked that author Ian S. Wood be considered for the witness list.
Mr Wood had penned Crimes of Loyalty: A History Of The UDA, including a section referring to the murder.
Again Mr Leckey questioned the worth of the exercise, and said: “The standard response from journalists is that they will not compromise their sources.”
Mr Robinson said that the author had already been interviewed by police and the transcript had been disclosed to the court, and questioned what additional evidence Mr Wood would provide.
A definitive ruling on the witnesses was not made, and the issue is set to be raised again at a future hearing.
Another preliminary hearing is set to be held on March 20.