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PSNI chief Matt Baggott 'part of massacre cover-up'

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott has become part of the "cover-up" over the Loughinisland massacre, the Assembly has been told.

Former Executive minister Caitriona Ruane said "by protecting agents" the police chief "is now unwittingly or wittingly part of the cover-up".

Six men were shot dead when two UVF gunmen opened fire in a rural bar in Co Down in June 1994 as patrons watched the Republic of Ireland play Italy in the World Cup.

In a special debate just four days after Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson's controversial report into the killings, Ms Ruane said the families of the Loughinisland victims had not got justice and had been failed "at every level" by the State.

"They have been failed by the RUC, the PSNI and now by the Police Ombudsman. Despite the fact that the getaway car, the murder weapons, the balaclavas - one containing a hair follicle - gloves and boilersuits were found, no one was ever charged," the South Down MLA said.

In response to Ms Ruane, the PSNI reiterated its statement apologising for the lack of consistent police communication with the families and a lack of consistent focus in the investigation identified in the Hutchinson report, and stressed it remained committed "to apprehending those responsible for these murders".

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