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Fresh investigation into Loughinisland massacre

December 22, 2012

By Christine Keighery
Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire is to lead a fresh investigation into the Loughinisland massacre, following a high court challenge by the victims’ families.
Six men died in the 1994 attack, when loyalist gunmen indiscriminately opened fire in The Heights bar in the County Down Village, as customers watched the Republic of Ireland play Italy in a World Cup football match.
All six who died were Catholics and included 87-year-old Barney Greene, one of the oldest victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Also killed were Adrian Rogan, 34, Malcolm Jenkinson, 53, Daniel McCreanor, 59, Patrick O’Hare, 35, and Eamon Byrne, 39. Five others were seriously wounded.
No one has ever been convicted of the murders, despite 16 people having been arrested in connection with the massacre.
Relatives of those who died had strongly criticised the findings of a 2011 report, published by the former Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, which claimed there was insufficient evidence to prove collusion between the police and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang which carried out the attack.
Victims’relatives, who have always suspected the RUC investigation was undermined in order to protect informants, branded the findings a whitewash and launched the High Court challenge.
They welcomed the court’s decision this week, which will see Dr Maguire, Mr Hutchinson’s replacement, lead a new probe into the case.
His decision to re-open the case is believed to relate to conflicting statements made by a self-confessed UVF informer and a former RUC detective.

By Christine KeigheryPolice Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire is to lead a fresh investigation into the Loughinisland massacre, following a high court challenge by the victims’ families. Six men died in the 1994 attack, when loyalist gunmen indiscriminately opened fire in The Heights bar in the County Down Village, as customers watched the Republic of Ireland play Italy in a World Cup football match.All six who died were Catholics and included 87-year-old Barney Greene, one of the oldest victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.Also killed were Adrian Rogan, 34, Malcolm Jenkinson, 53, Daniel McCreanor, 59, Patrick O’Hare, 35, and Eamon Byrne, 39. Five others were seriously wounded.No one has ever been convicted of the murders, despite 16 people having been arrested in connection with the massacre.Relatives of those who died had strongly criticised the findings of a 2011 report, published by the former Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, which claimed there was insufficient evidence to prove collusion between the police and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang which carried out the attack.Victims’relatives, who have always suspected the RUC investigation was undermined in order to protect informants, branded the findings a whitewash and launched the High Court challenge.They welcomed the court’s decision this week, which will see Dr Maguire, Mr Hutchinson’s replacement, lead a new probe into the case.His decision to re-open the case is believed to relate to conflicting statements made by a self-confessed UVF informer and a former RUC detective.

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