Step Inn widower calls for RUC to be ‘shamed’ for collusion

August 22, 2016

A man whose wife was killed when a car bomb exploded outside the Step Inn bar in Keady 40 years ago has said he wants to see a new inquest, ordered by attorney General John Larkin in 2013, finally take place and for the RUC to be “shamed” for their involvement in the killing.

Malachi McDonald’s wife Elizabeth, who was known as Betty, was killed along with 22 year old Gerald McGleenan in the bomb blast carried out by the notorious Glenanne gang on August 16th 1976.  The gang was directed by the RUC Special Branch and Military Intelligence and operated a campaign of bombings and shootings at will without fear of detection. The Glenanne Gang are believed to have been responsible for the murders of more than 100 people in the seventies.

The Cortina car used in the Step Inn bomb attack had been hijacked on Belfast’s Shankill Road a week earlier and packed with 25lb of commercial explosives and 200lb of homemade explosives.

An investigation by the police Historical Enquiries Team revealed that RUC Special Branch had known the identities of those involved in the attack and that the house where the bomb was stored belonged to a part-time police officer and had been under British army surveillance in the days leading up to the attack.

The bomb was originally intended for a bar in Clontibret in Co Monaghan but when the gang discovered that the bar was under surveillance by gardai, the Step Inn bar became the new target.

No-one has ever been charged with the bomb attack.

Malachi McDonald, who now lives in Pomeroy in County Tyrone, says he has struggled to cope with the loss of the mother of his three children four decades ago. Mr McDonald said he has been “fed so many lies for years” and has no doubt there was collusion in the killings.   Expressing his wish for the inquest ordered by the Attorney General 3 years ago to be completed, he said he wanted “this rotten RUC to be shamed for what they were.”