Report due on Loughinisland massacre

Report due on Loughinisland massacre

A police watchdog investigating allegations of security force collusion in the murders of six men gunned down as they watched a World Cup football match will publish its findings today.

Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire has examined misconduct claims against the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in relation to the loyalist killings at the Heights Bar in the country village of Loughinisland, Co Down in 1994.

Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gunmen burst into the bar and shot indiscriminately at customers who had gathered to watch the Republic of Ireland play Italy in the World Cup in the USA.

It has been alleged that the RUC, the predecessor to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), did not conduct a proper investigation because it was protecting an informer and that there was collusion between some police officers and the killers.

A report by previous Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson in 2011 found that the RUC failed to properly investigate what happened in Loughinisland but said there was insufficient evidence of collusion.

Those findings were quashed after a legal challenge by relatives of those killed and Dr Maguire subsequently undertook a fresh investigation.

Those murdered were Barney Green, 87; Adrian Rogan, 34; Malcolm Jenkinson, 53; Daniel McCreanor, 59; Patrick O'Hare, 35; and Eamon Byrne, 39. Five others were injured.

Relatives of the victims first complained to the Ombudsman's Office in 2006 about a police investigation which had seen 16 people arrested but nobody convicted.