Belfast Telegraph

Watchdog in appeal over 1969 killings

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

The Police Ombudsman has launched a fresh appeal for information about four deaths during the early Troubles.

They include a schoolboy, a soldier and two others who were gunned down after a night of heavy rioting in Belfast in August 1969. Despite the passage of time, a spokesman for the Ombudsman's office said it could not assume no new information would come to light.

He said: "These events in question are almost 50 years ago. The area has changed dramatically and many of the buildings have been demolished. The people who lived and worked there are either no longer with us or, at the very least, in late middle age."

The deaths had previously formed part of the considerations of the Scarman Tribunal, which was set up to examine the 1969 disturbances. They included nine-year-old Patrick Rooney, who was shot at around 1am on August 15, 1969 at his home on St Brendan's Path in the Divis complex.

Samuel McLarnon (28) died after being hit in the head at his home on Herbert Street in Ardoyne during rioting in the area that evening.

Michael Lynch, also 28, was killed in the Elmfield/Butler Street area of Ardoyne at around 12.30am on August 15. The Ombudsman is also seeking information about Hugh McCabe, a 20-year-old soldier who was on home leave when he was shot after midnight in Divis.

The deaths were referred to the Ombudsman by the now defunct Historical Enquiries Team.

Investigators are keen to hear from any members of the public or security forces. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ombudsman's historical investigations team on 0800 345 7106.

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