9 June 2016
Loughinisland World Cup massacre DID involve collusion between British agents, RUC and loyalist death squads, says Police Ombudsman
AN INVESTIGATION by the Police Ombudsman into the murder of six men by the unionist Ulster Volunteer Force in Loughinisland in 1994 has confirmed there was collusion between British agents, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and loyalist death squads in the massacre.
Six men were killed and five more wounded in the UVF gun attack on The Heights Bar in Loughinisland, County Down, on 18 June 1994 while watching an Ireland World Cup soccer match.
The six men cut down by the UVF as they watched the football were Daniel McCreanor (59), Adrian Rogan (34), Malcolm Jenkinson (52), Eamon Byrne (39), Patrick O’Hare (35) and Barney Greene (87).
● Scene of the UVF massacre that was organised, carried out or aided by British Government agents
The report published today by Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire states:
“When viewed collectively, I have no hesitation in unambiguously determining that collusion is a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders.”
The catalogue of collusion contained in the report includes:-
- The involvement of agents in the importation of weapons used in the murders;
- The role of agents directly involved in the attack;
- The active participation of British state agents in the killings;
- Collusion between the RUC and UVF resulting in suspects being tipped off that they were to be arrested;
- Failure to follow up information;
- “Catastrophic failures” in the investigation of suspects.
The Police Ombudsman also found that there had been “fundamental failings” in the investigation into the Loughinisland murders.
“I can only conclude that the desire to protect informants may have influenced policing activity and undermined the police investigation into those who ordered and carried out the attack,” the Ombudsman said.
“When combined with a flawed investigation of the Loughinisland murders this had undermined the investigation into those responsible for the crimes and ultimately justice for the victims and survivors.”
The Ombudsman's report states that the RUC Special Branch had information that the assault rifles imported from South Africa by British agents which were used in the attack on the Heights Bar had been stored at a farm in Glenanne used by the notorious ‘Glenanne Gang’, which was made up of loyalists, state agents and serving soldiers and police officers in the British Army’s Ulster Defence Regiment and the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
The farm at Glenanne was also used as a base for the Dublin and Monaghan bomb attacks in 1974.
The families of those killed in the UVF attack have welcomed today’s report.
◼︎ South Down Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard, who has worked closely with the families, said:
“This report from the Police Ombudsman into the Loughinisland massacre reveals the undeniable and shocking scale of collusion between British agents, the RUC and the UVF gang who carried out the attack.
“No one can now deny that the British Government and its forces actively colluded with loyalist death squads to murder Irish citizens and then went to great lengths to protect those responsible.”
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