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Massacre survivor calls on killers to give families truth


Heights Bar in Loughinisland after the shooting

Heights Bar in Loughinisland after the shooting

Heights Bar in Loughinisland after the shooting

A survivor of the Loughinisland massacre who was shot four times by loyalists has called for those responsible to come forward.

Colm Smyth was 23 when UVF terrorists attacked The Heights Bar in the Co Down village on June 18, 1994 as football fans watched a World Cup match.

Six men died in the slaughter and five were injured.

He spoke for the first time about his ordeal to the Belfast Telegraph last Monday.

Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the attack and today's World Cup in Brazil is another painful reminder to the survivors and the families of the victims who had gathered that night to watch the Republic of Ireland play Italy.

Mr Smyth told the Belfast Telegraph: "If there are people out there that know anything or people out there that were involved, all we are asking is to allow the families of those that died and those of us that survived to find out the truth.

"The only way we are ever going to find out the truth is if people come forward and do the human thing and think about the family and the victims and their family and give them the truth that they can eventually move on.

"Under the Good Friday Agreement there is not going to be any long prison sentences involved."

In the past 20 years the hardest thing for Colm to come to terms with was his survival.

"As a survivor it changed my life but when I think about how I feel and the days when I really struggled to come to the terms that I'm still walking around and still enjoying Father's Day when those six men aren't around to enjoy it."

He added: "I can only imagine what it must be like for the men who carried out that atrocity and how they have to wake up and see it on the news and they know that they are responsible for the death of six innocent men and for destroying the lives of their family and for breaking up a community."

On Wednesday when the World Cup coverage continues 20 years to the day from when the atrocity was carried out, Mr Smyth says he won't be watching it.

"The World Cup for all of us that were affected by Loughinisland will never hold the same lustre again because it's too big a reminder of what people will do because of the colour of the flag you stand under or because of the church you go to on a Sunday," he said.

Belfast Telegraph