Belfast Telegraph

Wife of Loughinisland suspect told councillor he was killer, documentary claims

By Cate McCurry

A hard-hitting new film on the Loughinisland massacre claims that the wife of a chief suspect named him as one of the killers in a letter to a nationalist councillor.

The woman also admitted she was part of the plan to commit the murders, but didn't go through with it.

Oscar-nominated No Stone Unturned names three men who formed the UVF gang responsible for the murder of six men as they watched a World Cup football match between the Republic of Ireland and Italy in 1994.

The film-makers say that the chief suspect was a serving soldier who was linked to a number of loyalist murders.

They also point to an Ombudsman's report about a confidential call made by his wife to police in which she named the killers.

The film claims she sent a letter to a SDLP councillor with the same details.

Both the suspect and his wife were arrested and questioned but later released without charge. A former RUC officer interviewed in the film describes the suspected killer as a "hate-filled bigot".

No Stone Unturned - which was produced by Fermanagh man Trevor Birney and directed by American-documentarian Alex Gibney - will be shown in cinemas later this month.

The victims' families were given a private screening with the film-makers in Comber last month while other family members and solicitor Niall Murphy attended its world premiere at the New York Film Festival.

The film will also be shown in Loughinisland tomorrow while the general release date has been set for November 10.

UVF gunmen burst into the bar and shot indiscriminately at customers who had gathered to watch the Republic of Ireland's opening match of the World Cup in the Giants Stadium in New York.

Aidan O'Toole was a barman at the Heights Bar on the night of the attack.

He watched as his six friends were gunned down in front of him.

Mr O'Toole was among those who attended the Comber screening. "It was a very emotional experience," he said. "It was heartbreaking for the families to watch it on the screen.

"There were a lot of tears at the end of it all.

"The film-makers did a great job and reflected what really happened that night and it certainly deserves the Oscar nomination as it was so well put together.

"We had been meeting with them back and forth over the past year.

"They spoke to us a lot about what was happening and kept us well informed.

"Everyone thought it was very good, it was very emotional." A spokesperson for the film-makers said: "Gibney re-opens a case that has tormented the victims' families for more than 20 years."

by cate mccurry

Belfast Telegraph

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