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Families fear police guilty of collusion could still be on the force

By Deborah McAleese

Published 11/06/2016

The families of the Loughinisland massacre victims have demanded reassurances from the PSNI that officers guilty of collusion are no longer on the force.

Concerns have been expressed by relatives of those killed that officers who were found to have colluded with the loyalist murderers could still be employed by police.

The families' solicitor, Niall Murphy, said the possibility that any officers involved in the notorious atrocity were still serving with the force was a matter of the utmost concern.

"That there is even a possibility that the officers referred to in yesterday's report are still serving, is in itself a grave concern," Mr Murphy added. "The families hope and trust that this is not the case."

South Down SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie called on PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton to reveal how many, if any, officers were still employed.

"The Chief Constable should be open with the families about this," she said.

"The PSNI has a duty to the families. I will be raising this directly with the Justice Minister and the Chief Constable."

The families have also called for prosecutions to be launched against those officers who colluded with the killers.

Their intervention came after a damning report by the Police Ombudsman on Thursday exposed State collusion in the UVF murders of six men who were gunned down as they watched a World Cup match in the Heights Bar 22 years ago.

Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire said the gang behind the 1994 atrocity committed other murders but were able to avoid arrest because RUC Special Branch withheld evidence.

Police knew the names of the suspects within 24 hours of the killings, but they delayed making arrests.

Mr Maguire also told how the protection of informants had led to "catastrophic failures" in the investigation.

Adrian Rogan (34), Patrick O'Hare (35), Eamon Byrne (39), Malcolm Jenkinson (53), Daniel McCreanor (59) and Barney Green (87) were killed in the attack in Loughinisland. Five others were injured.

The guns used in the atrocity came from a large shipment of weapons imported from south African into Northern Ireland by police informants at the most senior levels within loyalist paramilitary organisations, the Police Ombudsman revealed.

Unrecovered weapons from that delivery were used in at least 70 murders and attempted murders.

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