Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

No security force personnel on Glenanne review panel

An independent review panel tasked with examining the activities of the loyalist Glenanne Gang will not include any current or former members of the security forces.

Led by the former Bedfordshire police chief constable Jon Boucher, the investigation will probe the activities of the murder gang, believed to have been behind the killing of up to 120 Catholics during the 1970s.  Members of the RUC, UDR and UVF were part of the notorious gang.

Last year the Court of Appeal in Belfast ruled that bereaved relatives were being denied their legitimate expectation that an independent police team would oversee an investigation.

As part of the terms of reference for the review, it has been revealed that the team “will not include any personnel who are serving or have previously served in the Royal Ulster Constabulary or PSNI, the Ministry of Defence or HM Armed Forces or any of the security or intelligence services”.

Eugene Reavey, whose three brothers were murdered by the Glenanne Gang, welcomed news of the independent panel set up to review the gang’s activities.

The review team will undertake a comprehensive process of obtaining information and materials held by the PSNI, other agencies and bereaved families and ultimately produce a report setting out “the origins, composition, activities and accomplices of the Glenanne Gang”.

This report will include the finding in each case found to fall within the Glenanne series and “any deficiencies in any previous investigations into or official responses to each of those cases” along with the “extent of state collusion”.

Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law, representing Whitecross man Eugene Reavey whose three brothers were murdered by the Glenanne Gang in January 1976, said: “The fact the independent investigation is to commence is going to be welcomed by all the families.”