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5 August 2013 Edition

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6,000 in Coatbridge call for Loughinisland justice

• Clare Rogan speaks on behalf of the families of those killed in the Loughinisland massacre

“As republicans we should always be planning for the future but should also never forget the past. We call on the British Government to tell the truth about the Loughinisland massacre and the RUC’s role in the cover-up that followed.”

BY SEÁN McAVOY

A CROWD of an estimated 6,000 people paraded through the Scottish town of Coatbridge on Saturday 13 July to support the ongoing campaign for justice for the families of the 1994 Loughinisland massacre.

Six Catholic men were killed by a UVF death squad as they watched Ireland play Italy in the soccer World Cup on 18 June 1994 in the Heights bar in the small County Down village of Loughinisland. Families have been consistently critical of major failings in the investigation.

The huge July event was organised by the local Cairde na hÉireann Margaret Skinnider Cumann and supported by Cairde cumainn from all over Scotland and England. Adding to the vibrancy and pageantry were Scotland’s seven republican flute bands and the Liverpool Irish Patriots RFB as well as the O’Neill & Allsopp RFB from Belfast’s New Lodge.

Cairde National Organiser Franny McAdam said in his introduction to a speaker from the Loughinisland families:

“As republicans we should always be planning for the future but should also never forget the past. We call on the British Government to tell the truth about the Loughinisland massacre and the RUC’s role in the cover-up that followed.”

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Clare Rogan, on behalf of the families, reiterated the campaign’s demands:

Acknowledgement of the failings of the original investigation by the Chief Constable, British Secretary of State and Department of Justice;

A fresh independent investigation;

That the investigation has the full co-operation of the police and intelligence agencies;

That the investigation has oversight by judicial, legal and human rights experts ensuring state and police co-operation.

The weekend of events concluded on Sunday with a number of initiatives, including a public forum on Loughinisland and collusion where relatives answered questions from people keen to become more aware and involved.

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