Belfast Telegraph

Greysteel: A shout of 'trick or treat' then bullets flew

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

The horrific events which unfolded in a matter of seconds in a small Co Londonderry village ensured Greysteel would forever be synonymous with one of the darkest days of the Troubles.

Just before 10pm on Saturday October 30, 1993, an Opel Kadette, stolen earlier that day in Derry and driven by Torrens Knight, pulled up outside the Rising Sun bar. Around 200 people were inside at the time enjoying a Halloween party.

Using an AK47 assault rifle, Stephen Irwin sprayed the packed Rising Sun bar with bullets, emptying an entire magazine. Moments before the twisted killer had shouted: "Trick or treat."

While he reloaded, Jeffrey Deeney opened fire under the watch of Knight, who guarded the door with a shotgun. A fourth man, Brian McNeill, drove the getaway car.

Eight innocent people died in the carnage.

Details outlined in court documents from the time reveal the attack was meticulously planned.

The killers were first briefed at a house in Derry on the Wednesday prior to the attack. They drove along the route at least once beforehand and even made a mock-up of the bar to rehearse the murderous shooting.

Irwin and Deeney went into the Rising Sun on the afternoon of the shootings, in order to familiarise themselves with the layout of the pub.

McNeill then drove the gang to various locations – where he was to wait while the shootings took place, where Knight was to set the getaway car on fire, and where Irwin and Deeney were supposed to spend the night after the attack.

Despite their extensive planning, a huge police operation led to the arrest of the killers within days.

But the police officer who headed up the Greysteel investigation admitted those who masterminded the attack were not brought to justice. Detective Superintendent Eric Anderson said: "We caught the foot soldiers but, as has happened in the past, we sometimes fail to get the godfathers."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph