Villiers issues certificate preventing attorney general from orrdering fresh inquests
RELATIVES of eight PIRA men and a civillian shot dead in cold blood and murdered by the British SAS have called on the British government to confirm if new evidence in the case has come to light.
The call came after representatives of the Loughgall Truth and Justice Campaign met with the North of Ireland Office officials. The meeting was called after Secretary of State Theresa Villiers issued a certificate taking a decision on ordering fresh inquests away from attorney general John Larkin. Citing “national security”, the decision will now be taken by advocate general Jeremy Wright who is also the attorney general for England and Wales. Eight PIRA men were butchered and shot down by the SAS as they attacked Loughgall RUC station in Co Armagh in May 1987. Civilian Anthony Hughes (36) from Caledon in Co Tyrone was also murdered when he drove unknowingly into the pre-planned SAS ambush. The families of the victims believe no attempt was made to arrest the PIRA men and they were shot down in cold blood. The Irish News revealed in May that the British government apologised to the Hughes family and confirmed he was “wholly innocent of any wrongdoing”. Mairead Kelly, whose brother Patrick was murdered, said grieving families now want to know if new material has emerged and if it had been made available to the police Historical Enquries Team, which has issued a report on the ambush. The campaigner said an NIO official “refused to deny the assertion put to him, that the secretary of state had founded her decision on new material”. Mrs Kelly also said the families were told the material has been “returned to the state agencies it had originated from, one of which included the PSNI/RUC”, leaving Mr Wright “in the dark”. Relatives have claimed the decision to bypass Mr Larkin the Attorney General for the North of Ireland is another British cover-up and is “morally and politically wrong and we believe the only interest it serves is to protect the British government”. They have also called on Ms Villiers to meet with them. The government has insisted the decision is being made by the appropriate law officer, independent of government and if you believe that you will believe anything, and watch the Pink elephants fly.
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the origional story.