This is but one of many thousands of chapters of violence in the History of the Fighting between the IRA and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UFV), also called the Red Right Hand. -SF
There was collusion between some police officers and loyalist gunmen who killed six Catholics 22 years ago, a report by NI’s Police Ombudsman has said.
It said there was no evidence police had prior knowledge of the Ulster Volunteer Force attack in Loughinisland, County Down, in 1994.
But it confirmed claims by the victims’ families that there was collusion.
It was also highly critical of the initial investigation, listing “catastrophic failings” by the police.
The murdered men were watching the World Cup match between Ireland and Italy when loyalist gunmen burst into the Heights Bar in Loughinisland and opened fire. Five others were wounded.
The men who died were Adrian Rogan, 34, Malcolm Jenkinson, 53, Barney Greene, 87, Daniel McCreanor 59, Patrick O’Hare, 35, and Eamon Byrne, 39.
The Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, said: “I have no hesitation in saying collusion was a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders.”
He said police informers were involved in the attack in Loughinisland, and that opportunities to gather evidence were missed.
The report also said police were aware that a “small but ruthless” Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang had been operating in south Down and had been involved in previous murders.
It said that if they had been properly investigated that gang could have been brought to justice and may not have been involved in the Loughinisland attack.
Dr Maguire confirmed that an assault rifle used in the attack was part of a huge consignment of South African weapons brought into Northern Ireland by loyalist paramilitaries in the late 1980s.
Read the Remainder at BBC
From 1968 to 1998, Northern Ireland was the battleground of a guerrilla war known as The Troubles. On one side was the Protestant majority called the Unionists, who wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. On the other side were the Nationalists, a Catholic minority who sought to become part of the Republic of Ireland.
For 30 years, Northern Island ripped itself apart trying to decide whether to merge with Ireland or stay subject to the British crown. Over the course of the conflict, approximately 3,600 people died, with thousands more injured.
In one of the conflict’s most infamous massacres, Bloody Sunday, British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians taking part in a civil rights march protesting the internment without trial of any person suspected of being involved in with the Nationalist Irish Republican Army (IRA). Thirteen died on the spot.
The deadliest attack of The Troubles, however — deadlier than any of those mainland bombings or even Bloody Sunday — occurred on May 17, 1974.
Read the Remainder at All That Is Interesting