Families furious at PSNI legal action

Published Wednesday, 04 June 2014
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The families of six Catholic men shot dead by the UVF in Co Down twenty years ago have spoken of their anger at allegations that the PSNI is obstructing an investigation into the murders.

No-one has ever been convicted over the loyalist gun attack on a bar in Loughinisland in 1994.

The Police Ombudsman this week served notice on the PSNI that he is to take legal action over its alleged refusal to provide investigators with information on more than 100 occasions, stalling investigations into over 60 deaths, which are understood to include those at the Heights Bar.

Michael McGuire said he is taking the Chief Constable to court in an attempt to force police to hand over intelligence material believed to be protecting informers to the security forces.

Claire Rogan, whose husband Adrian was killed in the Loughinisland attack, is outraged.

She said: "Why has it taken all this time for us to become aware that police hadn't given all the information that they hold? There's some kind of hope that maybe now we will get answers."

Former ombudsman Al Hutchinson reported that the RUC had failed to properly investigate what happened in Loughinisland, but said there was insufficient evidence of collusion. The findings were quashed after a legal challenge by the families and Dr Maguire is conducting a new investigation.

Moira Casement, whose 87-year-old uncle Barney Green was also among the victims of the 1994 gun attack, said the families are demanding to know the truth.

"We are furious at this development," she continued.

It is absolutely unbelievable that the chief constable would refuse to co-operate with the ombudsman. Who does he think he is?

Moira Casement

"The ombudsman has an absolute entitlement to demand details on the intelligence that police hold on who murdered our loved ones," she said.

"What is the chief constable trying to hide? Who is he covering up for? These deliberate cover ups and obstruction are costing millions but the truth costs nothing. It's time for truth."

In a statement the PSNI said it is currently seeking to agree a solution with the Police Ombudsman around what it has described as "complicated and sometimes unfortunately competing legal issues".

It added: "Until we can get a resolution, PSNI believes that it has responded appropriately to each request, giving careful consideration on a case by case basis, to ensure that the respective legal requirements are met."

Gerry Kelly of Sinn Féin said it is a "very serious" situation.

He added: "The magnitude of this is frightening, over 100 cases where information has been refused, about 60 cases which involved killings and the families and relatives of those involved.

"For me the duty is very clear - the ombudsman is there to investigate and he needs to have the information to do that investigation."

Jonathan Craig of the DUP, who sits on the Policing Board, said the legal action was regrettable and added: "Nobody has a blank cheque when it comes to gaining intelligence information."

© UTV News
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7 Comments
mj in perth wrote (48 days ago):
amd what about invedtigations to the ira atrocities.......
Canice in Derry wrote (48 days ago):
No surprise - PSNI/RUC
justice for all in belfast wrote (48 days ago):
Here's hoping we can now get investigation's in to all the unsolved ira murder's aswell while the ombudsman is looking into it !
lorna in limavady wrote (48 days ago):
An RUC widow husband murdered by the IRA 22 years ago. never heard of an investigation into his murder. now the HET has been suspended did not even know to complain to the police ombudsman. it must be he I should complain to. We saw terrorist given no the run letters. we saw dicommission on weapons that could have solved many killings if they were forensic tested but everyone was happy to let that chance slip.we see SF the old IRA now ruleing us and still no further forward with justice for all.
Celer et Audax in Omagh wrote (48 days ago):
... and if the information is released by the PSNI .... and if there are arrests made ...... and if a file is prepared and submitted to the Public Prosecution Service for its perusal and recommendation ..... the Families may seek Justice from the Courts. Unfortunately, after the SPOTLIGHT programme on BBC1 dated 03/06/2014 ... the Families should not get their hopes up if they're depending on the PPS ( aka Public Prosecution SHAMBLES )for their day in Court ! PPS indeed ......
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