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Loughinisland murders police collusion 'totally unacceptable', says PSNI chief

Published 09/06/2016

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton repeated a police apology over the attack.
PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton repeated a police apology over the attack.
Those murdered were Barney Green, 87; Adrian Rogan, 34; Malcolm Jenkinson, 53; Daniel McCreanor, 59; Patrick O'Hare, 35; and Eamon Byrne, 39.
Loughinisland: Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire confirms collusion between police and loyalist killers. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), in the quiet Co Down village of Loughinisland where UVF gunmen burst in opened fire, during a World Cup match on June 18, 1994.
Heights Bar at Loughinisland in Co Down where six men were gunned down as they watched a World Cup football match in 1994
O'Tooles Bar (The Heights) in the Co. Down village of Loughinisland. Six men were shot dead by two UVF gunmen, while they were watching the 1994 World Cup on television.
Loughinisland families press conference takes place in the Ramada Hotel in Belfast
Victim Barney Greene was oldest man to die in Troubles at 87
Malcolm Jenkinson
Adrian Rogan

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton described collusion in the 1994 Loughinisland murders as "totally unacceptable" and said those responsible should be held accountable.

The Police Ombudsman found collusion was a "significant feature" of the 1994 Loughinisland murders in a damning report published on Thursday.

More: Loughinisland massacre: Collusion 'significant feature' of 1994 Heights Bar murders, says Police Ombudsman

In response Chief Constable George Hamilton said: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland fully supports the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.

"It is an essential part of the mechanisms by which the PSNI can be held to account and as such, I accept his report and findings into the brutal attack carried out at the Heights Bar, Loughinisland, on 18 June, 1994.

“In 2011, we accepted the findings of the previous PONI report into the murders and conducted a further review of the case as a result. We apologised to the families at that time and I offer my sincere apologies to them once again today, for both the investigative failings and that collusion was a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders.

“This report makes uncomfortable reading, particularly in relation to the alleged actions of police officers at the time.

"The Ombudsman has stated that collusion was a feature of these murders in that there were both wilful and passive acts carried out by police officers."

More: Loughinisland massacre: How World Cup celebrations turned to murderous horror

Mr Hamilton continued: "This is totally unacceptable and those responsible should be held accountable.

Victim Barney Greene was oldest man to die in Troubles at 87
Victim Barney Greene was oldest man to die in Troubles at 87
Malcolm Jenkinson
Adrian Rogan

"I want to reassure the families and the public that I have co-operated fully with the Ombudsman and I will continue to do so if he determines to take this further.

"It would therefore be inappropriate for me to comment in detail, pending the outcome of any potential further criminal investigation by the Ombudsman on this matter.

“These were appalling murders carried out by those with evil intent and I am very aware of the hurt and anger felt by the families of those killed and those injured.

"The PSNI remains firmly committed to apprehending those responsible for these murders and appeal to the community for information to allow us to do so."

More: Loughinisland pub massacre: The full Police Ombudsman report into 1994 Heights Bar murders

Adrian Rogan
Adrian Rogan
Victim Barney Greene was oldest man to die in Troubles at 87
Malcolm Jenkinson

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