Supporters of the Loughinisland families today at Laganside court

To hear the final ruling in the judicial review taken by the Retired Police Officers NI (NIRPOA) against the Police Ombudsman (OPONI).

Late last year the court ruled in favour of NIRPOA and today the families will find out the implications in terms of their report that concluded that there was collusion with security force members in the murders of their loved ones. Today’s ruling may also affect other families awaiting reports from OPONI.
PFC is in court in solidarity with the Loughinisland families and will update as soon as we hear the ruling.

With many thanks to the: Pat Finucane Centre

Loughinisland: Judge delays ruling on report
 

A judge has delayed his ruling on a police ombudsman’s report into the murders of six Catholic men in 1994.

He said the ombudsman’s new legal representative needed time to read himself into the case.

The men were shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries as they watched a World Cup football match in a pub in Loughinisland, County Down.

In June 2016, the police ombudsman ruled there had been collusion between some police officers and the gunmen.

But last December, a judge ruled that conclusion was “unsustainable in law“.

The Heights Bar, Loughinisland

He said the officers accused of collusion had been “in effect tried and convicted without notice in their absence”.

Two retired officers are attempting to have the report by Michael Maguire quashed in a legal challenge.

A judge had been expected to make his final ruling on Friday, but that has now been postponed.

The victims were watching the match between Ireland and Italy when loyalist gunmen burst into the Heights Bar and opened fire on 18 June 1994.

The men who died were Adrian Rogan, 34, Malcolm Jenkinson, 53, Barney Green, 87, Daniel McCreanor 59, Patrick O’Hare, 35, and Eamon Byrne, 39.

Five others were wounded.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the origional story.

IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

>>>>> Flash: Families angered by new Loughinisland cover-up
 The families of the men murdered by the unionist paramilitary UVF in a
 1994 massacre in Loughinisland, County Down have vehemently rejected an
 investigation by the PSNI Police Ombudsman into the killings.

 Al Hutchinson’s report refused to blame the attack on collusion, and
 said that the original police investigation had merely failed the
 families of those killed and injured.

 The report admitted the getaway car was destroyed by the RUC police,
 (later the PSNI). But it said only the RUC investigation was “lacking
 effective leadership and diligence”.  It said that records were “lost”
 and “opportunities were missed”.

 Six Catholic men, one of them aged 87, died when loyalist gunmen sprayed
 the Heights Bar in the County Down village with 200 bullets in 1994.

 The shootings at the Heights Bar happened as supporters watched the
 Irish soccer team play Italy during the World Cup.

 The six men who died were Adrian Rogan 34; Malcolm Jenkinson, 53; Barney
 Greene, 87; Daniel McCreanor 59; Patrick O’Hare, 35, and Eamon Byrne,
 39.

 At least one British double agent was linked to the murder gang. An RUC
 Special Branch informer inside the UVF, codenamed ‘Mechanic’, had
 supplied the car used in the shooting, which was subsequently destroyed
 by the RUC.

 Patrick McCreanor, a nephew of Dan McCreanor said: “How long will we
 keep on hearing the same old story. How many times can evidence go
 missing from police custody?”

 Maura Casement, a niece of Barney Greene said that the ombudsman refused
 to investigate a link between admitted British Army agent Brian Nelson
 and the murder weapon.

 The ombudsman’s report also made no mention at all of RUC’s undercover
 Special Branch, who are believed to have worked with at least one member
 of the murder gang.

 Aidan O’Toole who was a barman on the night of the murders said the
 report raised “serious inconsistencies”.

 “In some cases, police did not even bother to take fingerprints or DNA,”
 he said.

 “The RUC and the PSNI could not even identify one of the killers even
 though he left a hair behind.”

 Emma Rogan’s father Adrian was one of those killed.

 “For 11 years after the murder of our loved ones, police did not even
 have the focus and strategy to keep us informed,” she said.

 A solicitor representing the families of those killed also hit out at
 the report’s findings describing them as “unacceptable”.

 “The families consider that Al Hutchinson has performed factual
 gymnastics to avoid a conclusion”, Niall Murphy said

 “The families fear it is a case of see no evil, hear no evil, and report
 no evil by Mr Hutchinson”, he added.

 RESIGNATION DEMANDED

 The SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie has called for the Police Ombudsman to
 resign following his report.

 His findings were contrary “to a mountain of evidence of collusion”, she
 said.

 “After a very long wait the ombudsman’s report has come up short on
 Loughinisland. It completely lets down the victims’ families and the
 wider community.

 “Al Hutchinson paints a picture of an incompetent keystone cops type of
 police force when the reality was that the RUC and Special Branch were
 rotten to the core.

 “The ombudsman has done a great disservice to the families of those
 murdered, as he has done to other groups of victims.

 “It is now time for him to go. The office of the Police Ombudsman is
 vitally important to confidence in policing and justice in the north and
 Mr Hutchinson has repeatedly failed to measure up.”

 The South Down MP said the definition of collusion as set out by Judge
 Cory “involves the area of commission or omission, and in this case
 there has been omission by the then RUC”, Ms Richie said.

 “He seems to think that the failure of the RUC investigators to
 co-operate, the systematic destruction of evidence such as the car, the
 systematic failure to follow leads and even the failure to carry out
 forensics was incompetence – to me and to the families that mounts to
 collusion.

 “I think it is time to provide confidence and leadership in the police
 Ombudsman’s office, he should do the right thing and resign”, she added.

 Despite several arrests, no-one has ever been convicted of these
 murders.

 Local Sinn Fein Assembly member Caitriona Ruane said the report marked
 the beginning of a new phase in the relatives’ campaign for truth.

 “If ever there was a case which demonstrated collusion it is the murders
 at Loughinisland,” she said.

 “That is the only conclusion which can be reached, even from the
 information put in the public domain today by the ombudsman.

 “His failure to reach that very obvious conclusion on the basis of the
 evidence in front of him is a matter which he needs to explain.”
—————————————————————-

AN EXCECT COPY AS IT WAS PRINTED :  http://republican-news.org/subs

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