Belfast Telegraph

Judge defers Loughinisland collusion ruling to allow more legal submissions

A decision on whether to quash the Police Ombudsman's Loughinisland collusion ruling has been deferred for a week.

Further legal submissions will be made before Belfast judge Mr Justice McCloskey completes his judgement.

Six Catholic men were shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries as they watched a World Cup football match in a pub in Loughinisland in Co Down in 1994.

The victims were watching the fixture between Ireland and Italy when loyalist gunmen entered the Heights Bar in the village and opened fire on June 18 1994.

The men who died were Adrian Rogan, 34, Malcolm Jenkinson, 53, Barney Green, 87, Daniel McCreanor 59, Patrick O'Hare, 35, and Eamon Byrne, 39. Five others were wounded.

The Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, has ruled there was collusion between some police officers and the gunmen.

Last year Mr Justice McCloskey said that finding was "unsustainable" but deferred deciding whether to quash the report.

Two retired police officers are attempting to have Dr Maguire's report overturned in a legal challenge at Belfast's High Court.

On Friday the judge said he was acceding to a request for a further delay before completing his findings, to allow for submissions from lawyers.

It followed a last-minute change in the Ombudsman's counsel and a suggestion by another barrister that individual parts of the report could be quashed.

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