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Loughinisland families stage vigil in support of arrested journalists

Organisers said the journalists will be touched by so many standing in solidarity with them.

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A vigil is held at Loughinisland, Co Down by the families of those killed in the Loughinisland massacre (Rebecca Black/PA)

A vigil is held at Loughinisland, Co Down by the families of those killed in the Loughinisland massacre (Rebecca Black/PA)

A vigil is held at Loughinisland, Co Down by the families of those killed in the Loughinisland massacre (Rebecca Black/PA)

Families of those killed in the Loughinisland massacre have staged a vigil in solidarity with two journalists arrested over a documentary film they made about the atrocity.

Award-winning reporters Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were detained on Friday morning over the suspected theft of confidential documents relating to the Loughinisland killings.

Around 100 family members and supporters staged a silent vigil at the Heights Bar in the Co Down village where the shootings took place on June 18 1994.

On that date, Ulster Volunteer Force members burst into the bar and shot dead six people, wounding five others.

No-one has ever been convicted of the murders.

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Emma Rogan, whose father Adrian was among those killed, thanked all those who attended the vigil.

The families this morning were just devastated by the news that the two journalists had been arrestedEmma Rogan

“From the bottom of my heart, thanks to everybody for coming out here this evening and standing with us,” she said.

“This was very last minute and the show of strength here tonight is unbelievable.

“I am sure when Trevor and Barry are released, they will no doubt be touched at the turn out that is here to stand with them.”

The vigil ended with applause.

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Trevor Birney, right, and Barry McCaffrey were detained on Friday morning (Brown O’Connor PR/PA)

Trevor Birney, right, and Barry McCaffrey were detained on Friday morning (Brown O’Connor PR/PA)

Press Association Images

Trevor Birney, right, and Barry McCaffrey were detained on Friday morning (Brown O’Connor PR/PA)

Ms Rogan said she had been shocked to wake up to news of the arrests.

“The families this morning were just devastated by the news that the two journalists had been arrested,” she told the Press Association.

“I think the whole community was shocked to hear they had been arrested and the perpetrators of this heinous crime have never been charged with the murders here.

“Yet the PSNI go after two investigative journalists who seek out the truth of what happened here.”

Ms Rogan said the documentary film, No Stone Unturned, had not been an easy watch for her, but added it was essential viewing.

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Emma Rogan holds a picture of her father Adrian (Rebecca Black/PA)

Emma Rogan holds a picture of her father Adrian (Rebecca Black/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Emma Rogan holds a picture of her father Adrian (Rebecca Black/PA)

“It’s not something you sit down and say, oh I really enjoyed that, but it’s the truth and it’s what had to be told,” she said.

“We have taken the documentary all over the world, and people are shocked to their core when they watch it and see the gravity of the cover up and collusion that went on here.

“That documentary should be watched by everybody.

“For the two journalists to be arrested, going about their daily work, it’s beyond belief.

“People who are suspects in the murders here live no more than four miles away, and they have never been charged. They implicated themselves, yet (have) never been charged with murder.”


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