Loughinisland: Seventeen years on and still nobody has been brought to justice
On the night of June 18, 1994 two UVF gunmen walked into a small country bar in Loughinisland, Co Down, and opened fire.
Six innocent Catholic men – Adrian Rogan (34), Malcolm Jenkinson (52), Barney Greene (87), Daniel McCreanor (59), Patrick O'Hare (35) and Eamon Byrne (39) — were shot dead and five others were wounded.
Witnesses have said that after opening fire the UVF gunmen ran to a nearby getaway car laughing. The car was found abandoned between Crossgar and Ballynahinch, while one of the rifles used was recovered in Saintfield.
In 2006, following claims that an RUC agent had supplied the getaway car used in the attack, victims’ families lodged an official complaint about the police investigation with the Police Ombudsman. The complaint included allegations that the investigation had not been efficiently or properly carried out; no earnest effort was made to identify those responsible; and there were suspicions of state collusion in the murders.
The massacre is thought to have been a “revenge” attack for the murder of three UVF members on the Shankill Road by the INLA two days previously.
Since the shootings, up to 20 people have been arrested for questioning, but nobody has ever been charged. In January 2010 a reserve PSNI officer, formerly an RUC officer, was arrested by detectives from the Police Ombudsman's Office and questioned over “perverting the course of justice”. The Ombudsman's Office reported the officer to the PPS, but in November 2010 the PPS concluded that there was not enough evidence to prosecute. In reply, the Ombudsman's Office stated that it would be considering “disciplinary matters” against the officer.